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Mercedes switch focus to "damage limitation" in Bahrain

Mercedes switch focus to "damage limitation" in Bahrain

F1 News

Mercedes switch focus to "damage limitation" in Bahrain

Mercedes switch focus to "damage limitation" in Bahrain

Mercedes director of trackside engineering Andrew Shovlin has suggested the team will have to focus on "damage limitation" to start the new F1 season.

George Russell finished fourth and Lewis Hamilton ninth after completing soft-tyre runs during the second practice session of the year ahead of the Bahrain Grand Prix for which the Silver Arrows are only viewed as third favourites.

This was underlined by Max Verstappen and Ferrari's Charles Leclerc almost six-tenths of a second ahead over one lap and seemingly around a second per lap quicker on long-run pace.

"There are some relatively easy gains we might be able to make overnight with the balance but we're not going to find more than a few tenths," said Shovlin.

"More important is that we keep learning as we don't seem to have understood the bouncing as well as some of the others, it may also be that we're lacking a bit of car pace.

"So, we're expecting a tough couple of days where we need to focus on damage limitation but also continuing to experiment to see if we can find a better place to run the car."

Addressing the pace difference during practice, Shovlin added: "Certainly on a single lap, we were one step softer on tyres than the cars we would like to compete with doing similar times, so it is pretty evident that there is something to do there.

"We are learning every day at the moment. It does feel like we have ground to catch up but as long as we keep on with that learning then that is the main thing for us."

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