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Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 team didn’t have an ideal start to the brand new F1 season. After messing up the cooling shaft setup in the Bahrain Grand Prix, the team once again failed to deliver in the Saudi Arabia Grand Prix. While George Russell finished P6, Lewis Hamilton registered P9 for the second time this year.

A key issue that separated Mercedes from its rivals was the lack of speed through fast corners. Both George Russell and Lewis Hamilton lost crucial tenths on the sector 1 corner, which had relatively closer walls. Explaining the reason behind the deficit, the team’s leading Trackside Engineering Director, Andrew Shovlin, listed out a couple of persistent issues.


Andrew Shovlin Blames Lack Of Grip For Loss Of Time On High-Speed Corners Of Jeddah

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Mercedes witnessed yet another underwhelming race weekend in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia after W15 failed to produce a significant race pace. While the team sorted out setup issues by adding more downforce through the rear wing, the fundamental issues highlighted by team principal Toto Wolff acted as a huge barrier. Meanwhile, one area where Silver Arrows lost a lot of time was the high-speed corner of Sector 1. The walls were relatively closer, which forced George Russell and Lewis Hamilton to brake early. Hamilton even complained of a lack of stability in the rear end despite the addition of a wider wing. That being said, the team’s leading Trackside Engineering Director, Andrew Shovlin, put the blame on the lack of grip.

“We are doing a lot of work to try and understand why we did not seem to have the grip of some of our close competitors,” said Shovlin. Notably, Mercedes was the slowest in that sector compared to the likes of Red Bull, Ferrari, and McLaren. While W15 was quick in the following sectors, both drivers lost three or four-tenths, which eventually hampered their overall timesheets. Not only that, Shovlin admitted having witnessed issues with balance and bouncing, especially during qualifying. Regardless of the Jeddah heartbreak, the Silver Arrows are committed to finding answers before the Australian Grand Prix. Andrew Shovlin highlighted how Melbourne Circuit’s sector 1 corner is similar to Jeddah. Thus, it is crucial for the team to resolve the issue and ensure better results in the third round of the 2024 F1 season.

Mercedes Boss Toto Wolff Highlights Fundamental Issues With W15


In the aftermath of the Jeddah disaster, Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff reflected on fundamental issues with 2024 season challenger W15. He said the loss of time on corners is just too much for a rear wing to fix. The Silver Arrows have yet to comprehend what’s causing the loss of speed on corners.

Toto Wolff also added that setup can only make a few tenths of difference. The issue is much deeper and fundamental. While Mercedes added measured downforce in Jeddha, the results were missing from the lap time. That lack of correlation has led to frustration amongst the team. Regardless, despite persistent issues, Wolff is confident of a turnaround in Melbourne.

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