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Mercedes see RB16B gaining speed: Then it will definitely be exciting

Mercedes see RB16B gaining speed: "Then it will definitely be exciting"

04-12-2021 21:43 Last update: 23:42
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GPblog.com

Mercedes has had a hectic day. Valtteri Bottas' engine had to be replaced after the third free practice, Lewis Hamilton was called to the stewards twice, but in the end, the German team was the big winner today. Lewis Hamilton will start on pole position, while title rival Max Verstappen will have to chase from the second row of the grid. Andrew Shovlin looks back on Saturday in his employer's review.

"It was a busy day. The last practice wasn't great for us," said Shovlin. "We were doing OK on the Hard tyre but not finding great grip on the Soft. We found an issue with Valtteri's power unit just before the end of the session so had to swap that out for another in his pool just before qualifying; it was a lot of work but everyone in the garage did a great job to get the car ready in time.

The British chief engineer saw that his team had to get up to speed for a while in qualifying. The lap times were reasonable in his opinion, but: "Every time Max went out he'd beat the time we just set, and his final run showed clearly that they have the upper hand here on a single lap. Had he completed the lap, there's no way we could have matched it d the lap, we would never have been able to match him."

Long runs Red Bull

Mercedes are pleased to have managed to score a one-two, but the speed of the RB16B is causing some concern. "It doesn't feel like we've earnt it. It's hard to know what to expect tomorrow; we were good on the long run on Friday but Red Bull seem to have found a chunk of pace overnight and if that translates into the long run, it's bound to be close," concludes Shovlin.

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