The Mercedes trackside engineering director Andrew Shovlin discusses the strategy behind their engine penalty decisions.


  • Mercedes faced a tough decision with very little races remaining – the team wanted to take one more engine penalty for Lewis Hamilton this season to have a fresh engine for the final sprint to the finish.
  • The team selected the Sao Paulo GP weekend, forcing Hamilton to start further back on the grid.
  • This decision worked brilliantly for Mercedes and Shovlin revealed the team’s thought process behind choosing this circuit.

What he had to say:

  • “There wasn’t a technical reason to change, as in we didn’t think that we were at risk of failing, and we don’t think we’re at risk of failing. Although, you know, these power units are running awfully hard, and you can never take reliability for granted.”
  • “There is an attraction to taking a penalty at the Sprint race because if you can win on Saturday, that’s more points that you can score and you can lessen the deficit.”
  • “This was also a track that we hoped would be one that we could overtake at, and that we could recover positions at, and we proved that.”

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