Mercedes: "Unknown" how much we've recovered after testing

Valtteri Bottas says Mercedes does not know if it has recovered any performance in its work to understand the car handling issues it suffered in 2021 Formula 1 pre-season testing.

Listen to this article

Mercedes had a surprisingly difficult test at the Bahrain track earlier this month, finishing with the lowest lap count of any team after losing the opening morning to a gearbox issue and then Lewis Hamilton spinning off on the second day.

Hamilton's off was put down to a rear-handling weakness the Mercedes drivers encountered with the W12 in testing, with the world champion also spinning late in the final session as he prepared to conduct a qualifying simulation run.

Mercedes ended up with the fifth-fastest testing time, while its front-running rival Red Bull topped the times and had a smooth test overall with a package Mercedes called "planted" in comparison to its own.

When asked if Mercedes had understood what went wrong with its car handling in testing during the pre-event press conference for the season-opening Bahrain GP, Bottas said: "We struggled quite a bit for sure, but it was also pretty extreme conditions overall.

"It was really windy which makes it quite hard to understand the changes you're making and it compromises the run. It makes it even harder to understand and to learn in those conditions.

"But yeah, the fact is we struggled with the car balance.

"We always want more performance than we have currently overall both from the car side and chassis and aero side, and from the humans in the team.

"The team has been really flat out and understanding everything from the test and making sure that at least approaching this weekend we hopefully are going to start, in theory, in the best place with the set-up and everything.

"It's unknown how much we've recovered from testing and how much performance we gained by learning [in the days since].

"That's something we're going to learn hopefully in practice and at the latest on Saturday and Sunday.

"But at least I know that the team has done everything we can in the short time but the season is so long so there's no reason to panic, we just need to work hard."

Read Also:

Hamilton outlined his thoughts that Mercedes is still "in the early phases" of understanding how to get the W12 handling best.

"We've tried to understand naturally, in terms of quantifying how big or small an issue we may or may not have," he said.

"Everyone on the ground here, all the engineers and also the aerodynamicists – particularly back at the factory – have been working around the clock to rectify any normal things that happen with a new car and new regulation shifts.

"I'm fully confident that in the short space of time [since the test] that they've done the absolute best, but it's going to be a continued hustle to get the car to be where we want it to be."

shares
comments

Related video

Hamilton will continue to kneel in F1 2021
Previous article

Hamilton will continue to kneel in F1 2021

Next article

Bahrain GP: Latest F1 2021 technical developments

Bahrain GP: Latest F1 2021 technical developments
Load comments
Why the lack of "needle" between Red Bull and Ferrari is a mirage Prime

Why the lack of "needle" between Red Bull and Ferrari 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