Lewis Hamilton, and Mercedes as a whole, have had an extremely tough few weeks falling well behind Red Bull in the Championship Standings heading to round ten in a number of weeks.
Between on track errors, issues with tyres and balance and just sheer bad luck, the silver arrows have most certainly been put to the test this season as the Red Bull proves to be the dominant contender in 2021.
Today was no different for the seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton. After a great run in the early stages of the race seeing him left his W12 into second, ahead of the McLaren of Lando Norris, issues with his tyres on Lap 20 saw his performance drop – ultimately losing two positions by the chequered flag.
Many have been questioning exactly what happened to Hamilton in Austria on Sunday, and so, Andrew Shovlin, Mercedes’ Engineering Director, has broken it down for us;
“Lewis took a lot out of his tyres trying to pass in the first stint but once he’d got through on lap 20, Max was too far up the road for us to mount a challenge so we were just looking for any opportunities with safety cars.
“It looks like the bodywork damage for Lewis was at the end of lap 29 just before we came in.
“The downforce loss was around six or seven-tenths but as it was all from the rear, the balance becomes difficult and we were damaging the rears with sliding.
“That dropped Lewis from second to fourth but at least we had Valtteri up there to pick up the position.
“We know we’ve not been strong enough at this track over a range of conditions so we need to go away and work hard to understand that.”
Speaking about the next location on the 2021 calendar – Silverstone – Shovlin reassures fans that they’re bringing updates that proved successful in years past in a bid to catch up.
“For the British Grand Prix we’ll bring an update package and it’s also a track that has suited our car in recent years.
“We really missed the fans in 2020 but we’ll be working hard over the next few days to recover our form and hopefully can give them something to cheer about on race day.”