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Old Woes Are Back To Haunt Mercedes in Candid Assessment of “Very Frustrating Weekend”

Aditya Srivastava

Old Woes Are Back to Haunt Mercedes in Candid Assessment Of “Very Frustrating Weekend”

While Mercedes on-track rival Red Bull secured another 1-2 finish in the Saudi Arabian race, the Brackely-based team has found themselves haunted by their old woes. At the Jeddah track, both George Russell and Lewis Hamilton faced bouncing issues, which remained Mercedes’ major problem back in 2022. Regarding the same, Silver Arrows’ key figure, Andrew Shovlin, has now given his perspective.

As reported by Deni on X (formerly Twitter), Shovlin acknowledged that Mercedes’ performance has been weak. He said, “Overall, it has been a very frustrating weekend, but ultimately one of our own making. We’ve seen glimpses of strong performance, but it’s not been easy to land the set-up in the right place and we’ve got some weaknesses that still need ironing out.”

The engineer also noted during his evaluation that the W-15’s high performance was still lacking and that the car was “bouncing in those corners.” Subsequently, Shovlin added that because of this Mercedes wasn’t able to perform well in the qualifying.

Ultimately, the 50-year-old conceded that his team needs to put in a lot more effort from now till the Australian Grand Prix. While wrapping up, Shovlin also pointed out that given Saudi Arabia and Australia have similar tracks, they don’t want to go through the terrifying experience that occurred in Jeddah.

What do George Russell and Lewis Hamilton have to say about Mercedes’ performance at Jeddah?

Mercedes, who made significant changes to their 2024 challenger, finished P5 and P7 at the Bahrain season opener. The team then brought great hopes to the Jeddah track, but the W-15 proved to be a terrifying experience for the team.

As a result, both Mercedes drivers Russell and Hamilton finished at P6 and P9, respectively. While Russell finished 40 seconds behind race winner Max Verstappen, Hamilton’s alternate longer-running strategy also didn’t work out as intended.

Speaking about the car’s performance post-race, Hamilton told Sky Sports F1 that the car is echoing similar problems at high speeds as of 2022 and 2023. He elaborated, “We haven’t made big enough changes, perhaps. If you look at the three teams ahead of us, they still have different concept to where we are in some areas. We’ve definitely got to make some big changes.”

While Hamilton requested significant modifications from the team, Russell compared the Saudi race weekend to Bahrain. At the Sakhir, Russell qualified third and finished the Grand Prix in fifth after getting a solid P2 in FP2. However, Russell has attributed Mercedes’ position decline to a unique combination of factors.

Speaking with Autosport, the Briton said, “Both weekends, the pace just falling away from us. That hasn’t been our competitors getting faster; that’s been us getting slower.” While wrapping up, Russell said that to optimize the car’s performance, the team must first determine the reason behind its slowing down.

Post Edited By:Aishwary Gaonkar

About the author

Aditya Srivastava

Aditya Srivastava


Aditya Srivastava is a Formula 1 writer at TheSportsRush, possessing a profound passion for the high-speed world of racing. Although he ventured into the sport some time ago, it was the thrilling Abu Dhabi 2021 race that truly set his enthusiasm on fire. Aditya has written over 700 articles covering various aspects of motorsports. His commitment to storytelling reflects his belief in the power of disseminating knowledge through his craft. Lewis Hamilton, known for his unwavering "never give up" spirit, holds the esteemed position of Aditya's all-time favorite F1 driver. Coming from a sports background himself, Aditya deeply resonates with Hamilton's level of determination. Beyond the realm of Formula 1, the writer finds solace in music and savors the experience of exploring diverse cuisines.

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