Andrew Shovlin believes that we might see some drama unfolding at Belgian and Italian Grands Prix.
The latest Formula 1 qualifying event at Hungaroring had some controversy at the end of the Q3 when Lewis Hamilton allegedly blocked his title rival Max Verstappen on the out lap. Mercedes trackside engineering director Andrew Shovlin has denied all the claims and believes that both their drivers were preparing for the flying lap according to the rules.
“We weren’t really coaching them and they were picking their own out laps,” he said.
“I think the big thing at the end of the lap is everybody’s trying to get, you know, seven seconds of clear air. And that’s why they’re all backing off.
“To be honest, we struggled on the Medium [tire]. Valtteri had to have two goes at that and I think he was going too slow on that, couldn’t get them up to temperature, and had really poor grip. And then obviously jumping onto the Soft, you back off the pace a bit.
“But yeah, [it was] not really anything more than them trying to land the tires in the right window and get a clear track ahead of them.”
Shovlin also admits that he expects to see an even worse situation in Q3 at Spa Francorchamps and Monza.
“Obviously, it was a bit tight for everyone at the end. But that’s kind of the game. The game at the end of the session is, you know, no one wants to be the first car out,” he added.
“You’ll see that much, much more so when we go to Spa and Monza, so everyone’s waiting for everyone else to kick it off. If you’re at the back end of that, then you can get squeezed.”