Mercedes cautious: 'Don't know yet where we stand in relation to Verstappen'

16-04-2021 17:00 | Updated: 16-04-2021 18:30
by GPblog.com
F1 News
Mercedes cautious: 'Don't know yet where we stand in relation to Verstappen'

Mercedes started the race weekend in Imola well, with both cars topping the timesheets in both practice sessions on Friday. So it looks like Mercedes are in better shape than they were in Bahrain.

Andrew Shovlin, chief engineer at Mercedes, sees the improvements at the team. "We brought some aerodynamic updates, and what we saw today confirms that they are working well. The balance of the car was pretty good from the start, which made it relatively easy to finish the programme," Shovlin told Sky Sports.

Mercedes cautiously satisfied

"It's not easy to get the tyres up to temperature here, because of the cold air and cold track. But at least we don't have such bad grip at the back like in Bahrain," he continued. "We had some trouble with traffic, both drivers sometimes struggled to find an opening on the track. But today was more about understanding the car than setting fast laps."

On that front, Shovlin is at least satisfied, but there is still work to be done. "We haven't managed to get the grip out of the soft compound on the first lap yet, so we need to work on that tonight. We also haven't seen a fast lap or long run from Max Verstappen yet, so we don't know where we stand yet. But both drivers are pretty happy with the car," concludes Shovlin.

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