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Monday, September 27, 2021

Mercedes felt “behind the curve” at Dutch GP after Friday struggles

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Max Verstappen managed proceedings at Zandvoort on Sunday to win the race for Red Bull and move back into the lead of the drivers’ championship forward of Lewis Hamilton.

Hamilton and Mercedes have been unable to reply to Verstappen’s tempo within the race regardless of their greatest efforts to get forward through the undercut, twice pitting early to attempt to soar forward into the lead.

PLUS: The Mercedes tactics that Verstappen had to overcome to win at home

Second place nonetheless marked an honest turnaround for Hamilton, who had misplaced most of his working on Friday after a prolonged pink flag in FP1 adopted by an influence unit situation in FP2 that restricted Hamilton to only one timed lap.

Mercedes trackside engineering director Andrew Shovlin defined after the race that the setbacks had left the crew on the again foot towards Crimson Bull.

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“Even going into qualifying, as a result of we did the medium [in Q1] after which we have been on chilly tyres due to a pink flag going into Q2, it was fairly late earlier than we really had a run the place it was sizzling tyres out of the field that have been contemporary,” Shovlin mentioned.

“So we have been simply enjoying catch up a bit. It was encouraging to see that we may get shut [in qualifying]. I do know Max did not have an ideal lap.

“However this weekend, we have been a bit of bit behind the curve and making an attempt to catch up, and must get the whole lot proper to beat them.”

Max Verstappen, Crimson Bull Racing RB16B, Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes W12, and Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes W12

Picture by: Andy Hone / Motorsport Images

Mercedes encountered particular struggles through the Turn 2 and 3 complex, with the banked Flip 3 posing a brand new problem to the groups and drivers.

Shovlin revealed Mercedes discovered a special stability was required for its W12 automotive at Zandvoort than it had anticipated from its simulator work to arrange for the weekend.

“The banked corners are very uncommon, and positively the sequence of Flip 2-3 is kind of difficult,” Shovlin mentioned.

“There could also be components which are fairly particular to our automotive that make it tough. But additionally whenever you’re doing the simulator work, as soon as a circuit, you know the way to arrange the simulator to duplicate it very successfully.

“The stability we had on the simulator was fairly totally different to the one which we had once we got here right here and began working the automotive on Friday. And that was why we needed to transfer it a bit extra when it comes to set-up than we do usually.

“I feel with a bit extra data, subsequent 12 months will probably be simpler, however a few of it was simply that coming to a brand new observe, there’s quite a bit that you do not know, and that simply left us with a bit extra floor to make up than we’d have favored.”

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Mercedes F1 boss Toto Wolff mentioned he anticipated the efficiency benefit to swing circuit by circuit, however that it needed to execute its processes completely to beat Crimson Bull.

“We simply have to be on our A-game on a regular basis,” Wolff mentioned.

“And with these little lapses, with not having the ability to full FP2 in a correct manner, as a place to begin, after which within the execution of the race itself, we simply have to be… it wants the A-game to win the A-championship.”

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