Mercedes’ Andrew Shovlin confesses the team’s “overly optimistic” views led to their downfall in F1 2022

Mercedes executive Andrew Shovlin gave his insight on where the team went wrong with this expectations in this year's F1 Championship.

Mercedes F1 trackside engineering director Andrew Shovlin
Mercedes F1 trackside engineering director Andrew Shovlin

As the team that has held the record for winning the Constructors’ Championship a whopping 8 times, the Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 team has got some disappointing results in the current season of Formula 1 2022. Both their racers–Lewis Hamilton and George Russell, although incredibly talented, have failed to attain a Grand Prix victory for the team, and this has this has placed Mercedes third in the battle amongst the top 3 teams for the top spot in the standings.

Speaking of the deficits in the performance of Mercedes this year, the team’s Trackside Engineering Director, Andrew Shovlin, gave his insight on what actually went wrong. And the 48-year-old believes they got a little too optimistic with their ambitions for the W13 package, even though the car was actually one of the weaker ones on the grid, having its own set of troubles adjusting to the downforce problems.

During the pre-testing season, Mercedes revealed one of the most unconventional set-ups with a complete lack of the sidepods as they believed that would give them superior speed–but it was not so. And to add to that, the team had one of the worst fights with porpoising, causing them to fail to meet the expectations they themselves had set, after holding a record number of wins at the constructors’ title battle.

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“We’re not where we’d like to be”: Andrew Shovlin discusses the progress Mercedes have made to improve their results

Andrew Shovlin(on the left) and Toto Wolff(on the right)
Andrew Shovlin(on the left) and Toto Wolff(on the right)

With the kind of unilateral domination that Mercedes has established for themselves in the Championship, it was difficult for the fans to see the team struggle with pace and porpoising problems. But still, Russell and Hamilton made good use of whatever they had, and thus, the team has got a few podium places to take credit for, this season. Speaking of their results this year, Andrew Shovlin said, “It has been a very interesting journey, I think we were overly optimistic in where we thought we could run the car.”

He also said, “The car that we launched had a lot of downforce close to the ground, and there were a lot of issues being able to actually run the car on track there. We’re not where we would like to be, but the direction of travel looks okay. So we’re working very hard to try and improve that.”

Things definitely seem to be on the upside for the team as they have made considerable progress throughout the 2022 season. With the Championship results for this year being all but decided with Max Verstappen leading the WDC Standings with a 144-point advantage over Charles Leclerc, all eyes are currently on who takes the top place from the start in the upcoming 2023 Championship.

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Riddhi Mondal is an F1 author at FirstSportz. Having previously worked as a student reporter at The Statesman, she is an ardent follower of all things F1. A nerd through and through, the complicated physics that goes into the cars is what drew Riddhi to the sport. She is a proud McLaren fan who eagerly awaits the paddock's visit to Spa Francorchamps and hopes to attend the Monaco GP one day. A student of medicine, whenever she's not fawning over Daniel Ricciardo or rooting for Max Verstappen to become the next World Champion, Riddhi's either busy reading thrillers, debating, or playing with her six feline friends.