Andrew Shovlin said that Mercedes was struggling at Zandvoort against Red Bull, which was quicker than them on Sunday and the Silver Arrows could not fight back.
Max Verstappen won his home Grand Prix and he took the lead of the championship back. The Dutchman was in total control of the race while both Mercedes were struggling to keep up the pace.
Shovlin thus admitted that during the whole weekend, Mercedes was just trying to catch up with Red Bull.
“Even going into qualifying, because we did the medium [in Q1] and then we were on cold tires because of a red flag going into Q2, it was quite late before we had a run where it was hot tires out of the box that was fresh,” Shovlin said.
“So we were just playing catch-up a bit. It was encouraging to see that we could get close [in qualifying]. I know Max didn’t have a perfect lap.
“But the weekend, we’ve been a little bit behind the curve and trying to catch up, and need to get everything right to beat them.”
Moreover, the new banked corners revealed to be a challenge for Mercedes, which revealed its set up was not ideal for Zandvoort.
“The banked corners are very unusual, and certainly the sequence of Turn 2-3 is quite tricky,” Shovlin said.
“There may be elements that are quite specific to our car that make it difficult. But also when you’re doing the simulator work, once you know a circuit, you know how to set up the simulator to replicate it very effectively.
“The balance we had on the simulator was quite different to the one that we had when we came here and started running the car on Friday. And that was why we had to move it a bit more in terms of set-up than we do normally.
“I think with a bit more knowledge, next year it will be easier, but some of it was just that coming to a new track, there’s a lot that you don’t know, and that just left us with a bit more ground to make up than we would have liked.
To conclude, Toto Wolff said that Mercedes needs to do everything perfectly if it wants to beat Red Bull.
“We just need to be on our A-game all the time,” Wolff said.
“And with these little lapses, with not being able to complete FP2 properly, as a starting point, and then in the execution of the race itself, we just need to be… it needs the A-game to win the A-championship.”