Mercedes Formula 1 trackside engineering director Andrew Shovlin says the team is doing “a lot of work” on race starts at its factory to match rivals Ferrari. 

Lewis Hamilton had a sluggish getaway from pole in the British Grand Prix and lost positions to Sebastian Vettel and teammate Valtteri Bottas, before being turned around by Kimi Raikkonen after the pair made contact at Turn 3. 

Ferrari has often made much better getaways off the line compared to Mercedes this season, particularly in France where Vettel challenged Bottas before the duo collided, and again in Austria where Raikkonen squeezed himself in-between Hamilton and Bottas on the run to Turn 1. 

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In a bid to get on level terms with the Italian squad that leads both world championship standings, Shovlin revealed in a Mercedes post-race debrief video the team is prioritising race starts ahead of the upcoming German Grand Prix. 

"We are doing a lot of work here this week trying to understand that, because we know fine well that if we qualify on pole we have got to get off the line as well as the Ferraris and that is what we will be trying to do in Hockenheim,” Shovlin said. 

Shovlin believes Hamilton probably suffered from too much wheelspin due to there being less grip than Mercedes anticipated on the Silverstone grid. 

"The simple answer is that we got some wheelspin,” he explained when speaking about what had gone wrong for Hamilton. “There was a bit less grip on the grid than we were expecting. 

“We had done practice starts there and at Silverstone they do actually allow you do a start from the grid.

“But for some reason on Sunday we didn't quite have what we expected and as soon as you get the wheelspin you lose traction and that lost him places quickly.”

Shovlin also revealed that Hamilton’s car did not suffer any significant damage in his collision with Raikkonen, adding his complaints over team radio had stemmed from how the car felt while running behind other cars. 

"We didn't have much damage at all,” Shovlin said. "It was quite a big impact and we were pretty lucky to get away with it. The reality though was that you heard Lewis complaining about damage to his floor.

"We thought that there might have been some aerodynamic damage but that was just from running in the turbulent air of all those cars ahead when he was having to fight through.

“It was only when he got into clear air, and he could feel what the car was like and we could see his pace, that we were able to really understand that the damage was very, very minimal."

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