Mercedes admits surprise at Red Bull’s “odd” wing choice

Mercedes has admitted their surprise at Red Bull’s odd wing choice for the Hungarian Grand Prix.

The Hungaroring is a track that best suits Red Bull and their car’s chassis. However, Mercedes beat them in the race, clinching a P2 to their P9. This was despite losing one driver and a calamitous blunder that saw them throw P1 and go all the way to the back.

Mercedes were worried about Red Bull’s wing choice, especially if they had gone with the highest downforce version. Mercedes trackside engineering director Andrew Shovlin expressed the team’s thoughts after the race.

Everyone stops for slicks, Hamilton left alone on the grid!
Mercedes questioned Red Bull’s choice of wing in Hungary. Source:

“We thought this is a circuit that should suit them (Red Bull),” he said.

“The other thing that always worries us when we come to a max downforce circuit is that we’re frequently running around on our max downforce wing, and then they bring it out for the Monacos and for this place.

“But maybe, they couldn’t balance that. They went away from it on Saturday, and for us, it seems odd that you would ever run anything other than your biggest rear wing here.

“We don’t profess to know why they’re taking decisions on that car, but it could be that they were just struggling to get enough front end in it, on the big wing, and they dropped down onto the smaller one.”

Came up trumps

Mercedes will be glad for that Red Bull decision, as it helped them do well. However, they wish to do some deeper investigations into the car and see how it had the pace it had in Hungary.

“It’s something we need to look at over the next few days,” Shovlin said. “We’re down to sort of pretty small developments now to be honest.

“We did have the update kit in Silverstone, and that does look like it’s given us some useful performance. But then the car was working well in terms of where it was maintaining its tyre temperatures, and we had quite a nice balance with it.

“But to be honest, we’re surprised by it ourselves. I mean it’s a pleasant surprise, but we were surprised to have had that margin to pole for instance.” 

Read more: Valtteri Bottas certain Hungary error won’t affect his future at Mercedes – “One race won’t change anything”

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