Mercedes racing director Andrew Shovlin says that after Mercedes showed great performance in Turkey it is something that has restored confidence in the team to reach the title. Although Lewis Hamilton lost the leading position in the driver’s standings last weekend by his biggest opponent Max Verstappen, the team was fast enough to win the first starting row (qualifiers).
However, the seven-time world champion had to move ten places backward because he received a penalty for changing the internal combustion engine, so he started from the 11th position. Hamilton broke through to fifth place, while the victory of teammate Valtteri Bottas further strengthened Mercedes ’leading position in the constructors’ championship.
Aside from the team’s sixth win of the season, Shovlin says their performance was “another positive thing over the weekend” in Istanbul. "We had a good ride in dry conditions, we showed a good pace (in wet conditions), and it looks like a car that can win championships," says Shovlin.
“Going back to the beginning of the year and the decisions we make about development trying to balance two years: one of our worries was whether at the end of the year we would be able to glue the car to the pole position, to lock in the front row, to control the race? ”
Mercedes started the season with three wins in the first four races and then took just one win over the next 10 weekends.
But after wins in Russia and Turkey, they hold the lead with 36 points ahead of Red Bull in the constructors ’championship, while Hamilton is six points behind Verstappen in the drivers’ standings. "It's really encouraging that we're now entering the last six (races) we've shown we have a package for."
Despite the strong form of the team in recent years in Austin, the track on which to hold the next race, Shovlin explains that they are more cautious about traps than about opportunities in upcoming races. “We have to go to all these races looking at what will catch us, not what will be great and easy for us,” he adds.
"We don't approach like that. It's just a matter of looking at all the data coming from the simulations, doing what we have to do with the car. ” “There’s very different asphalt there, but it’s a track where Lewis was very strong and it’s a track where there’s a good chance of overtaking - there’s degradation.
So that changes the dynamics of the race a little bit. ” “There’s no reason to think we shouldn’t be strong in Austin. We prepared well by arriving (in Turkey), and the car was in the right place and that is what we need to make sure we did the right thing for the next race. ”