Mercedes: An adjustment for us to racing in the mid-pack

Mercedes: Racing in the mid-pack is an adjustment for us

Mercedes: An adjustment for us to racing in the mid-pack
Mercedes’ Trackside Engineering Director, Andrew Shovlin admitted the team had to adjust to racing in the mid-pack in 2022 after their troubles start to the season.

Mercedes shocked everyone and even themselves with the bad job they did with their 2022 Formula 1 car, the W13, that despite being innovative with its “Zeropod” design was suspect to “porpoising” and “bottoming” in its early life.

Although Mercedes have accumulated 15 podiums this season through Lewis Hamilton and George Russell, but based on the high standard the team have set since the start of the Turbo-Hybrid era in 2014, 2022 is considered as a case of dropping the ball by the eight-time Constructors’ Champions.

Andrew Shovlin reflected on his team’s season, speaking to F1’s official website; he said: “We haven’t done a good job.

“We went from a situation of winning consecutive championships, winning all the championships there have been in the hybrid era, to being a long way off the pace when we started the year.

Mercedes admit they didn’t do a good job

“We’re honest with ourselves, we didn’t do anything like a good enough job, and Ferrari did a much better job, and Red Bull did a much better job.

“[But] where I think we have worked well is to understand what went wrong, to try and recover some of that ground,” the Mercedes engineer pointed out.

Elaborating, Shovlin added: “The position we were in maybe in the first third of the year, we were firmly in the mid-pack, we were being beaten by cars that six months ago we were lapping, [and we’ve progressed] to get to the point that we’re in today.

“We’re not the fastest car, we’re not where we need to be, but it does feel like we’re now in the race with the front pack,” he insisted.

Shovlin admitted the start of 2022 delivered a shock to the system both for the team and their star driver Lewis Hamilton as both struggled to adapt with their new situation.

Hamilton was shocked, Mercedes had to adapt

“Lewis is always working hard, super motivated and desperate to try to win,” he said. “I think, going from the competitive position that we’ve had in the preceding years, to a really difficult car at the start of the year, was a bit of a shock for him.

“[It was] also a bit of an adjustment for us to get used to working,” he went on, “effectively racing in the mid-pack for a lot of the early part of the year, having to make a lot of compromises with the car to try to get the best out of it, and then learning at the same time.

“I think, the same as us as a team, Lewis can also see that we’re definitely going in the right direction. We can see a clear route to getting back to a point where we can challenge for pole positions and wins.

“You can see with Lewis’ commitment to the team, that’s increasing, the closer we get, and his commitment to putting in the work on his side to try and help us achieve those goals,” the Briton concluded.

Hamilton and Mercedes are still chasing a first win in 2022. They somehow came close at the 2022 Mexican Grand Prix, but a botched tyre strategy put them out of contention.