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Mercedes demand Russian resolve as frustration grows with run of "messy races"

Mercedes demand Russian resolve as frustration grows with run of "messy races"

Mercedes demand Russian resolve as frustration grows with run of "messy races"

Mercedes demand Russian resolve as frustration grows with run of "messy races"

Mercedes trackside engineering director Andrew Shovlin is hoping the team can rediscover its clean weekend mojo following a run of what he has described as "pretty messy races".

In an era when one-two finishes for Mercedes have been par for the course, it is now 18 grands prix since the team last experienced such a finish from drivers Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas.

This season, in particular, has been littered with issues involving one car or the other, combined with uncharacteristic mistakes from the pit wall. Despite that, the team still leads the constructors' championship by 18 points to Red Bull.

Shovlin is now hoping the Russian Grand Prix will provide a degree of normality for the team at a Sochi Autodrom circuit where it has had four one-two finishes in the previous six seasons of the turbo-hybrid era.

"We just need to make sure we put a good weekend together in Russia," said Shovlin. "It's a place where the car should be competitive.

"We've had pretty messy races for quite a long time now, and really, the team needs to not get distracted and just focus on delivering the kind of performance that we know we can, and the performance we need to win these championships."

The Italian Grand Prix weekend was one of particular frustration for Shovlin that involved a power unit change for Bottas, Hamilton's slow start in the sprint qualifying and then crash with red Bull's Max Verstappen in the grand prix.

"It's quite a lot to take in," added Shovlin. "We had a car that should have been first and second and we haven't scored that many points.

"I think we need to be pretty critical with ourselves. Certainly with Valtteri, we denied him the opportunity to win the race.

"He was brilliant all weekend, and starting from the back to get through to third was impressive.

"With Lewis, there are certainly things we could have improved, and the start on the sprint qualifying cost him quite dearly.

"As is often the case, we walk away with a job list of things we have to get better at because we can do better than we've done recently."

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