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Mercedes had 24/7 shifts for 10 days for set-up breakthrough

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Mercedes had 24/7 shifts for 10 days for set-up breakthrough
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Jun 12, 2017, 8:28 AM

Mercedes kept its factory working flat out on 24/7 shifts for an 10 days after the Monaco GP to discover the set-up breakthrough that helped it bounce back with victory in Canada.

Toto Wolff, Executive Director Mercedes AMG F1
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1 W08
Niki Lauda, Non-Executive Chairman, Mercedes AMG F1, Toto Wolff, Executive Director Mercedes AMG F1
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1 W08, Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes AMG F1 W08
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes-Benz F1 W08
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1 W08, Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB13, Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes AMG F1 W08
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes-Benz F1 W08
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes-Benz F1 W08

The scale of its problems in Monaco a fortnight ago, where Lewis Hamilton was knocked out in Q2 and Valtteri Bottas failed to finish on the podium, prompted a dramatic call to arms at Mercedes' Brackley factory.

And leaving no stone unturned, its staff skipped leave to keep the facility – including its simulator – running non-stop for 10 whole days to try to discover what it needed to do to help its tricky W08 work better.

And with Hamilton securing pole position and an important win in Canada, Mercedes boss Toto Wolff has opened up about just how much effort went in to turning around the team's fortunes.

"After Monaco we pretty quickly understood why the Sunday was like it was – really bad," he explained. "But we needed to come back and understand what happened on Friday and Saturday.

"So a group of engineers came together, in order to calmly assess what happened. And any time of the day or night, when you were in the factory, there were lights on and people were working with the simulator.

"It ran 24/7 for 10 days in a row, and nobody took a day off in that group. There are no silver bullets in this sport: it is about analysing the data and making conclusions.

"So we looked at all areas: it was aero , it was mechanical balance, it was set-up work, it was the tyres themselves, and the way the drivers drove the car."

Motorsport.com understands that the focus for Mercedes revolved around running an intensive number of simulator and driver-in-loop programmes to go back through the Monaco weekend and work out what the team should have done at the time.

Such an approach, of re-running previous race events in such fine detail, is not common but Mercedes felt that understanding exactly where it had gone wrong in Monaco would generate big benefits for the remainder of the campaign.

That work eventually delivered a few areas of interest for the team that helped it revise it approach for the Montreal weekend – not in terms of car parts but more in relation to different set-up avenues.

But despite the good progress made, and the team's first 1-2 of the season, Wolff remains cautious about all of Mercedes' problems being behind the team.

When asked if he felt Canada provided a breakthrough for the team, he said: "I never feel that. Monaco looked pretty grim but we didn't dive into depression.

"Montreal looks pretty great but I wouldn't say now the problems are solved. Certainly we have understood it much better, with another set of valuable data points, but now we have to move to Baku."

 

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Series Formula 1
Teams Mercedes Shop Now
Author Jonathan Noble