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Mercedes relishing “absolutely fantastic” title fight with Red Bull

Mercedes relishing “absolutely fantastic” title fight with Red Bull

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Mercedes trackside engineering director Andrew Shovlin described the fierce title battle with Red Bull as “absolutely fantastic” with just two races remaining of the campaign.

Back to back successes for Lewis Hamilton in Brazil and Qatar have seen the Mercedes driver close the gap to Max Verstappen in the drivers’ standings to just eight points.

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In this time, however, Red Bull has been able to close the margin in the constructors’ battle to five due to a run of five consecutive top four results for Sergio Perez.

“Well, considering that we have just come off from a triple header, we are feeling pretty good, but we are very excited to be part of this challenge,” said Shovlin.

“It’s shaping up to be an absolutely fantastic battle. We’ve seen the car working really well and that gives us hope that we can go to the next two tracks and fight for pole position, fight for wins and that’s what we need to do.

“But we are all feeling good, we are excited, we are full of energy and we are going to make sure that we do absolutely everything we possibly can to bring these championships home.”

In the closing stages, Red Bull stopped Verstappen to secure the bonus point for the fastest lap, limiting Hamilton’s ability to inflict further damage to the Dutchman’s title lead.

Explaining why Mercedes had not stopped Hamilton, Shovlin explained: “Well, Red Bull deliberate timed it so that from their stop, all that Max is able to do is an out lap and a flying lap so he can then take that fastest lap which he actually held anyway from the previous stint.

“With Lewis, if we had pitted after Max had pitted all we would have been able to do was the out lap and that obviously doesn’t count for fastest lap, so it’s quite normal that you leave it for the penultimate lap because when you do stop you open up the window for the race leader and if you do it on the penultimate lap it means that they have no opportunity to actually set a proper lap time.”

A. F1

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November 25, 2021 at 05:01AM

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