Mercedes: Overtaking in Turkey ‘tougher than we would like’

It was revealed on Friday that championship chief Hamilton could be serving a 10-place grid penalty this weekend after Mercedes opted to take a brand new engine for his energy unit.

Hamilton led each observe classes on Friday at Istanbul Park, and stated he could be focusing on pole place in a bid to “restrict the loss” from the penalty that appears set to resign him to a mid-pack begin.

Title rival Max Verstappen managed to get better from a back-of-grid penalty in Russia to complete second, making certain he sat simply two factors behind Hamilton heading into the Turkey weekend.

But Mercedes trackside engineering director Shovlin felt Friday’s working had proven how troublesome it might be to overhaul, complicating the image for Hamilton.

“Overtaking is fairly laborious,” Shovlin stated after second observe.

“It’s typically a bit harder within the free observe classes since you don’t run lengthy stints on the tyres. You don’t get variations in degradation increase.

“So on that aspect, immediately’s indications are in all probability it’s a bit harder than we wish. But you do not at all times get what you need.

“What we’ve additionally seen is that the automobile is working rather well. Both drivers have had a powerful day, which is sweet.

“As a lot because the drivers’ championship attracts everybody’s focus in direction of what’s going on with Lewis, with Valtteri [Bottas], the target is kind of clear that we have to get pole and we wish to win the race.”

Shovlin stated Mercedes opted for a “very regular programme” with Hamilton’s automobile via Friday’s working whereas the group evaluated some improvement elements on his automobile.

“He’s nonetheless going to qualify, we nonetheless wish to get him as far up the grid as potential,” Shovlin stated.

“That’s clearly very totally different if you’ve obtained a 10-place penalty versus a again of the grid penalty.

“So actually it was a really customary programme, simply intentionally getting a number of extra laps in site visitors to try to really feel what the automobile is doing if you’re following somebody intently.”

While Mercedes is ready to run simulations anticipating the affect of a mid-pack begin, Shovlin felt Hamilton’s race would largely be outlined by the progress he makes within the opening levels.

“Whether we are able to get Lewis again on the rostrum, that’s typically outlined about what occurs within the first stint, whether or not you may choose off a few of these automobiles,” Shovlin stated.

“Because all through that stint, the race leaders are at all times getting away from you. It was very troublesome to foretell how effectively we’d get via site visitors in Sochi. It was troublesome simply because we had been understeering within the last sector, and that made it fairly laborious.

“Probably the toughest factor to simulate is de facto how shut really are you able to comply with. Can you sit in somebody’s gearbox with out killing the tyres, with out dropping a lot downforce you could’t keep there?

“That’s the bit that’s actually troublesome to foretell.”

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