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Mercedes facing "brutal" analysis after latest Red Bull bruising - Shovlin

Mercedes facing "brutal" analysis after latest Red Bull bruising - Shovlin

F1 News

Mercedes facing "brutal" analysis after latest Red Bull bruising - Shovlin

Mercedes facing "brutal" analysis after latest Red Bull bruising - Shovlin

Mercedes is to undertake a "brutal" analysis of its latest bruising defeat to Red Bull after believing the French Grand Prix was a race it “could have won”.

Lewis Hamilton was passed by Max Verstappen on the penultimate lap of the race after Red Bull’s two-stop strategy overhauled the reigning champion’s single-stop plan.

Mercedes trackside engineering director Andrew Shovlin believes the team missed a trick and must now be near perfect to have any hope of retaining its title.

“It is annoying because I think we could have won the race, we could have had two cars on the podium and we can’t really afford to let these opportunities go by, the way we did," said Shovlin.

“We’ve got a good race car, I think we showed that. We’re lacking a bit in qualifying but in terms of the race on a normal circuit, we are able to put them under pressure.

“But we know that to do that, to win races, we have got to be next to perfect and there’s plenty of things that we can go away and reflect on and say that we didn’t do a good enough job.

“We’re pretty good at being brutal with ourselves and analysing it, so we’ll go and do that for a couple of days and hopefully come back in Austria stronger.”

Mercedes believe Red Bull has taken a step forward

Mercedes has lost its advantage this season due, in part, to amendments in the aerodynamic regulations that hampered the reigning champions but also because its challenger has made improvements.

Red Bull, which has now won four races to Mercedes' three this year, also introduced a new Honda engine at the French race.

When asked if Mercedes’ rivals had taken a step forward Shovlin conceded: “They look to have done.

“They’re very quick in a straight line, but I think the way we look at it is that this team [Mercedes], at its best, can beat Red Bull. At the end of the day, we saw the opportunities we’ve missed….

“We know that it's going to be difficult, they are the favourites, they clearly have a good package, but if we perform at our best we can beat them and we can win the championship.”

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