Mercedes can't "easily explain" being half a second off the pace in Mexico

27-10-2019 16:13
by Nicolás Quarles van Ufford
F1 News
Mercedes can't easily explain being half a second off the pace in Mexico

Ahead of the Mexican Grand Prix later today, Mercedes have some ground to make up as the Silver Arrows were half a second off the pace during qualifying, which is something head engineer Andrew Shovlin cannot "easily explain".

On the weekend where Lewis Hamilton can become a six-time champion, the Brit only qualified in fourth although he got bumped up a place after Max Verstappen's penalty.

With the nature of the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, with a long run-up to turn one, Hamilton will have a fantastic opportunity to overtake as he'll be in the slipstream of the Ferraris in front of him.

However, the lack of pace is concerning, and it will be very hard to beat Ferrari and Aston Martin Red Bull Racing on pure speed.

"Being half a second off pole is not great but nor is it something we can easily explain," Shovlin said ahead of the Grand Prix.

"There's no particular corner that we are struggling with, it just looks like our tyres are not quite ready at the start of the lap and that they are done by the final sector.

"There's almost nothing on the straights to Red Bull so we need to be looking at how we are using the tyres, how the chassis is working to understand where we can improve."

Race pace could be better come Sunday, however, as Shovlin thinks the overnight data analysis and the tweaks that were made could lead to better race pace.

"We'd made quite a few changes overnight to improve our race pace and haven't had a chance to check those so tomorrow will be a journey of discovery."

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