F1: Andrew Shovlin expecting ‘close battle’


Share this story

Mercedes chief race engineer Andrew Shovlin admits the team need to make massive improvements but is still expecting a close battle at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix.

The defending champions have not won any of the three opening races in 2018 but do sit at the top of the Constructors’ Championship.

Lewis Hamilton, who is priced at 2.15 to win in Baku, began the season with a second-place finish in Australia but has slipped away over the last two outings, finishing third and fourth in Bahrain and China respectively.

Meanwhile, Valtteri Bottas was way down in eighth at the season-opener before he picked up back-to-back second-place finishes.

Rivals Ferrari and Red Bull share the race victories, with Sebastian Vettel winning twice and Daniel Ricciardo coming out on top last time out.

Shovlin believes Mercedes can improve when they head to Baku later this month and feels the World Championship is there for the taking.

“We’re off to Baku next which is a very different type of circuit and we are fully expecting another close battle,” Shovlin said.

“We’ve got work to do in many areas, both qualifying and race pace need to be improved.

“This championship is anyone’s to win and we will be working flat out over the next few weeks and months to try and solve our weaknesses.”

Leave a comment