Andrew Shovlin, Mercedes F1’s director of race engineering, has revealed that his team was able to take pole position and a double podium at the Hungarian Grand Prix, thanks to some groundwork that was not very pleasant to DO.
« We actually learned a lot on Friday » Shovlin told the F1 Nation podcast. « It was a little uncomfortable and the car was in a bad position, but it was one of those times when we went one way and realized we had to go the other, so it was a useful experience. »
« We do these races saying we have to experiment with them and learn for the future. It sounds great on paper, but in practice it can be quite difficult and uncomfortable. It’s a great turnaround, the two drivers did a great job, as well as the team. »
Hungaroring strategies explained
Shovlin explains the difference in strategy between George Russell, poleman, and Lewis Hamilton, stuck in seventh place at the start due to a technical problem in qualifying. The two drivers did not have the same tires, given their starting position.
« We looked at each case separately. With George, we wanted him to be ahead of the race. The conditions were quite tricky, there was a bit of rain in the air, it looked like it was quite cold. «
« It could be quite slippery and that soft tire would give him the best chance of leaving his spot cleanly, because to keep hope that George could win the race, we needed to be leading that first stint. »
« The argument for Lewis was very different. We had this DRS issue in qualifying that meant he was way out of position, so the medium tire gave him better life. »
« It allowed him to overcut, we were able to stay on track for a long time and it put him on cooler tires at the end of the race. In the end, that’s what allowed him to have this rhythm which was able to take him to second place. »