Mercedes "quite a way behind" F1 test programme after setbacks

Mercedes has revealed it is "quite a way behind" its Bahrain Formula 1 pre-season testing programme after suffering some setbacks through Friday's running.

Mercedes "quite a way behind" F1 test programme after setbacks
Listen to this article

Mercedes gave its W12 car a first on-track run on Friday at the Bahrain International Circuit, but slumped to the bottom of the mileage chart after a challenging day.

Valtteri Bottas lost the majority of his morning after a gearshift issue discovered on his installation lap forced Mercedes into a gearbox change. The Finn completed just six laps in total.

Teammate Lewis Hamilton took over for the afternoon, but after losing time due to the team's workload during the lunch break, he suffered a further setback when a balance issue was discovered.

Hamilton ended the day 10th fastest, with Bottas 14th, and Mercedes completed just 48 laps - 91 laps shy of mileage leader Red Bull - leaving the team well behind in its testing programme.

"It's been a poor start to the season from us today," said trackside engineering director Andrew Shovlin.

"We lost more or less the whole morning with Valtteri with a gearbox problem and our workload over lunch meant we were late joining the afternoon session with Lewis.

"Once we got running it was clear we didn't have the car in the right balance window and while we made some progress during the day, we're not happy with how the car is performing and it's pretty clear we have some work to do.

"We're quite a way behind on our test programme and need to find a bit of balance and speed but we have two days left and every opportunity to recover the situation."

Read Also:

Reigning world champion Hamilton accepted that it "wasn't the cleanest of days" for Mercedes, but tried to find some positives.

"These things are sent to try us," Hamilton said. "Everyone has worked extremely hard to get us here. We had that mishap in the morning which was very unfortunate for Valtteri in terms of losing time on track and the team is working hard to try and understand what that was.

"We have no choice but to take the positives. I remember in 2007 during testing I had 10 days in the car and now it's getting less and less.

"We only have a day and a half in the car before the first race, with different tyres and different aero modifications so it's not easy but it's the same for everyone.

"I'd like to think my nine years' experience with this team will help me get the best out of it."

Hamilton had a number of off-track excursions through the second session as all drivers struggled with low grip after a sandstorm hit the Bahrain circuit.

"I've never seen a sandstorm come through here before in all the years that I've driven at this circuit," Hamilton said.

"The sand was moving like rain would move. Having sand on the tyres isn't good for their longevity and getting consistency on long runs is difficult.

"Over a single lap it isn't the worst, but you need lots of laps at this time of year to get data."

shares
comments

Related video

Bahrain test: Latest F1 2021 technical developments
Previous article

Bahrain test: Latest F1 2021 technical developments

Next article

Vettel: More to come after "tricky" first F1 test day

Vettel: More to come after "tricky" first F1 test day
Load comments
Why the lack of "needle" between Red Bull and Ferrari in F1 2022 is a mirage Prime

Why the lack of "needle" between Red Bull and Ferrari in F1 2022 is a mirage

OPINION: The fight for the 2022 Formula 1 world titles between Red Bull and Ferrari so far features little of the public animosity that developed between the former and Mercedes last year. But that isn’t to say things are full on friendly or won’t get much worse very quickly…

The underdog F1 squad that thrust Senna into the limelight Prime

The underdog F1 squad that thrust Senna into the limelight

The Toleman TG184 was the car that could, according to legend, have given Ayrton Senna his first F1 win but for Alain Prost and Jacky Ickx at Monaco in 1984. That could be stretching the boundaries of the truth a little, but as STUART CODLING explains, the team's greatest legacy was in giving the Brazilian prodigy passed over by bigger outfits an opportunity

Formula 1
May 16, 2022
Why Aston Martin is unlikely to repeat Jaguar’s F1 mistakes Prime

Why Aston Martin is unlikely to repeat Jaguar’s F1 mistakes

Two famous manufacturer teams born out of humble midfield origins, splashing the cash while attempting to rise to the top of F1 in record time. There are clear parallels between Lawrence Stroll’s Aston Martin and the doomed Jaguar Racing project of 22 years ago, but Mark Gallagher believes struggling Aston can avoid a similar fate.

Formula 1
May 15, 2022
How rejuvenated Haas recovered its F1 mojo Prime

How rejuvenated Haas recovered its F1 mojo

US-owned but until recently Russian-backed, Haas seems to have reached a turning point in car performance after three gruesome seasons. And it needs to if it’s to attract fresh investment. Team boss Gunther Steiner tells Oleg Karpov how close Haas came to the abyss.

Formula 1
May 14, 2022
How F1 race leaders have now lost their comfort blanket Prime

How F1 race leaders have now lost their comfort blanket

As Formula 1 teams have settled down in understanding the new generation of cars and the way they need to maximise their performance, fresh lessons have emerged. Jonathan Noble investigates how they have brought with them an all-new kind of grand prix racing

Formula 1
May 12, 2022
Gilles Villeneuve's 10 greatest F1 drives Prime

Gilles Villeneuve's 10 greatest F1 drives

Formula 1 lost one of its brightest stars when Gilles Villeneuve was killed during practice for the 1982 Belgian Grand Prix. Forty years on, Motorsport.com picks out the greatest drives by a Ferrari legend

Formula 1
May 11, 2022
The silver lining of Ferrari’s Miami GP defeat Prime

The silver lining of Ferrari’s Miami GP defeat

OPINION: Much was made of Formula 1’s first Miami Grand Prix – what turned out to be a very ‘marmite’ event for both those in attendance and everyone following on TV. But even as the on-track battle between Red Bull and Ferrari it produced continued the negative run of results for the red team, it contained a glimmer it must hope continues to shine

Formula 1
May 11, 2022
How imperfect Miami offered F1's drivers a unique challenge Prime

How imperfect Miami offered F1's drivers a unique challenge

OPINION: Despite all of the stylistic embellishments festooning Formula 1's inaugural Miami Grand Prix, the Miami International Autodrome offered the drivers a unique challenge and punished driver errors; a stark contrast to the usual cast of modern-day circuits

Formula 1
May 10, 2022