Mercedes ‘optimistic’ about ‘exciting’ upgrade

Date published: July 8 2021 - Henry Valantine

Valtteri Bottas Mercedes front wing

Mercedes are feeling “optimistic” about their chances at Silverstone’s British Grand Prix, with updated bodywork set to be on the car next weekend.

Their latest upgrade package is being installed in the hope of reeling in a Red Bull car that has streaked away from the Silver Arrows in terms of performance at recent races.

Red Bull have won each of the last five rounds of this season’s World Championship with Max Verstappen opening up a 32-point lead at the head of the Drivers’ standings, in front of Lewis Hamilton.

After a demanding triple-header, Mercedes trackside engineering director Andrew Shovlin said the team need to regroup ahead of a fresh challenge awaiting them at Silverstone.

“The car hadn’t been working particularly well at Austria, so it had been very difficult trying to get the balance right and the engineers and the drivers were having to work very hard on that. It’s nice to get to the end of it,” Shovlin said in the team’s YouTube debrief.

“We are looking forward to Silverstone, we’ve got a good update coming there that’s quite exciting. We are looking forward to the home crowd, there is obviously a lot of Lewis fans that are going to be there, and it is also a track where our car has worked well.

“So, we’ve got a few days just to regroup, to analyse the results of those and turn around the cars and get them ready for the next race in that updated bodywork, but we are optimistic for a better weekend.”

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The first iteration of the test of sprint qualifying will also take place at the British Grand Prix, which will add another dimension to proceedings next weekend.

With Silverstone offering completely different characteristics than in Austria, Shovlin feels that the combination of the Northamptonshire circuit’s flowing nature, alongside Hamilton’s previous success at the track, will bode well for the team.

Former Williams and McLaren driver, Juan Pablo Montoya feels it is already “game over” for Mercedes in both championships, but Shovlin will be keen to prove him wrong in the upcoming races.

“Well, it’s fair to say that Austria is a track that over the years, we have struggled at,” Shovlin said. “It’s a difficult circuit and one that doesn’t seem to suit our car and we are trying to understand those issues.

“Silverstone on the contrary though, is one that we have tended to go very well at and also Lewis really enjoys that circuit. Some of it is the layout and the high-speed nature but also the fantastic support he has there from the home crowd.

“So, we are looking forward to it, it’s still going to be a challenging race weekend. We’ve got the sprint format to contend with, but hopefully we can put on a better showing and take that fight to Red Bull.”

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