Andrew Shovlin thinks that Mercedes are capable of beating Red Bull Racing if the Silver Arrows will be at their top form.
Mercedes is having one of its most challenging seasons in the hybrid era – they are 2nd in the Constructors’ Championship after 7 races, 37 points away from the leaders Red Bull Racing. However, the team’s trackside engineering director Shovlin supposes that Mercedes are still in contention – they just need to be on the highest level.
“The way we look at it is this team at its best can beat Red Bull. I think [in France] we saw that the opportunities we missed were the difference,” he said.
“We know it’s going to be difficult. We think that they [Red Bull] are the favorites. Clearly, they’ve got a very good package, but if we perform at our best we can beat them and we can win the championship.”
Mercedes were about to have a 1-2 finish in the French GP, but the one-stop strategy resulted in Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas crossing the finish line 2nd and 4th respectively. Shovlin admits that losing the race has been a blow because they cannot afford to lose opportunities.
“It is annoying, because I think we could have won the race. I think we could have had two cars on the podium,” he commented.
“We’re in a championship where we can’t really afford to let these opportunities go by. We’ve got a good race car, and we showed that [in the race].”
“I think we’re lacking a bit in qualifying, but in terms of the race, on a normal circuit, we are able to put them under pressure. But we know that to do that, to win races, we’ve got to be next to perfect.”
“There’s plenty of things that we can go away and reflect on and say that we didn’t do a good enough job with. We’re pretty good at being brutal with ourselves and analyzing it.”
“So we’re going to do that for a couple of days and hopefully come back in Austria stronger.”