Andrew Shovlin, Mercedes’ chief race engineer, fears the team will face similar difficulties at the Baku track as the results in Monaco.
On the urban circuit, laid out through the streets of the Mediterranean principality, George Russell and Lewis Hamilton were hampered by the same problem as at the start of the season, namely. their cars were prone to kicking, although the causes were slightly different this time and related to suspension settings that were too harsh.
It appeared that on the Barcelona stage the Mercedes team was already much closer to Ferrari and Red Bull Racing and there was much less destabilization of the car, but in Monaco the problem returned.
“Certainly in Monaco it was much more difficult for us to run the machine efficiently than in Barcelona,” admitted Shovlin. – In Spain we showed a good race pace, although we understood that there was still a lot to do to close the gap with Red Bull and Ferrari.
In Monaco the difficulties were associated with low speeds, typical of this track with its uneven surface, and there we had problems because of the car’s ground clearance. This affected the riders’ confidence, it was difficult for them to maintain high speeds, and all this meant that, unlike in Spain, we were unable to achieve optimal chassis settings.
We can expect similar difficulties in Baku. We keep working, trying to improve the machine’s behavior and trying to get at least a little closer to the optimal range of its operating parameters.
At the same time, we understand that it is not only necessary to achieve effective basic settings – the W13 should work normally on tracks of different types. We are all doing this as we prepare for the Baku race, but at the same time we are also focusing on the longer term as we will have to perform on other difficult tracks.”
Source: F1 News
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