Hamilton ceded new front wing to Russell in Monaco, Shovlin says

Lewis Hamilton made the decision for George Russell to run the upgraded front wing at the Monaco Grand Prix for Mercedes, according to trackside engineering director Andrew Shovlin.

Russell used a new front wing last weekend as Mercedes only had one version of the upgrade available, as it looks to close the gap to the top three teams. Shovlin says the decision to bring new parts even when there aren’t equal numbers available was instigated by the drivers, with Hamilton being the one to say Russell should have the update despite later referencing it had played a role in him qualifying behind his teammate.

“We are looking to have race quantities of that wing in Montreal and normally you would say race quantities is at least three because you have got one for each car and then you have got a spare available should anything happen,” Shovlin said.


“We do not make three in one go. We make the first, then the second, then the third. An upshot of that was that we had one that we could bring to Monaco and have it ready for Friday to do the weekend.

“A while ago, the drivers asked why we always wait until we have got a full set. ‘Why not just let one of us run it?’ We agreed with them that given the situation with the team in terms of performance, we need to improve and we need to learn. It is quite good to have different specs on the car to do that. We did agree with the drivers that where we are now, we will be happy to bring one to the track and they were both happy with that.

“The difficult question was, how do we decide who was going to run it? But Lewis said, ‘If we are going to start doing this where we have not got enough parts, let George run it in Monaco.’ There will be races in the future where we have a single update and of course we just alternate from here on in. But Lewis made that decision quite simple for us.”

Hamilton was also positive about the development rate Mercedes is showing at present after seeing the impact of the wing in Monaco, and Shovlin says its true performance will be visible at future circuits.

“There is a reason teams do not normally bring update kits to Monaco, which is the very low-speed nature of the circuit. The fact it is so busy, the short straights, it is very hard to actually evaluate anything. All the data we have seen, though, says that it was delivering performance; it was bringing a benefit in terms of how the car was feeling.

“George was happy with that and he could feel that it was a step in the right direction. We are happy with what we have seen to date, but we will learn more in Montreal and then particularly when you get to a track like Barcelona with a wider corner speed range, you can really start to learn about it there.”

Story originally appeared on Racer