Mercedes’ trackside engineering director Andrew Shovlin said the Monaco circuit “highlighted our weaknesses” after a P5 and P8 finish.
reigning Constructors’ Champions looked to have turned their season around in Barcelona when upgrades to their car finally reduced the porpoising effect that had hampered their campaign up to that point.
So much so was the improvement that many pundits as well as those within the paddock were tipping Mercedes to be back in title race and make it a three-way fight between themselves, Red Bull and Ferrari. Yet in Monaco, their fortunes were drastically different from their would-be title opponents.
Red Bull earned a 1-3 finish while Ferrari finished P2 and P4 yet both had a clear pace advantage over Mercedes.
George Russell finished 11.968 seconds off race winner Sergio Perez while Hamilton was 50.388 behind the Mexican.
Shovlin described it as “a frustrating weekend” for the team third in the Constructors’ Championship.
“It’s been a frustrating weekend for the team and drivers,” he wrote in Mercedes post-race debrief. “We weren’t anywhere near quick enough on one lap but even in the race we didn’t have enough pace.
“George did a good job to take P5 from Lando on the dry transition and also to hold him behind at the end of the race; luckily, he was only there for one lap. Lewis had a tough time sandwiched between the Alpines for most of the race – we just couldn’t find a way of putting him in free air without him needing to overtake which is near impossible.
Shovlin highlighted the difficulty in getting heat into the tires given the weather conditions and also said the Monaco circuit had highlighted the W13’s weaknesses.
“It also seemed that the cold conditions were making life quite difficult for the tires and both our cars dropped off towards the end of the race. We’ve clearly got work to do ahead of Baku as there are a lot of similarities between the cornering sections and this track has highlighted our weaknesses.”
Toto Wolff, meanwhile, was frustrated with the frequent stoppages as a result of both the weather and driver crashes and said it was more like an NFL game than a race.
“That was the usual chaotic race in Monaco – and once again, a lesson that we need to look at this circuit layout, so people can’t drive round five seconds off the pace in a procession,” Wolff wrote.
“This is a fantastic venue and spectacle – but it would be great if the racing could be at the same level. With the length of the race, and the delays and interruptions, it felt more like an NFL game than a grand prix.”
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