Day two of pre-season testing is underway in Bahrain this morning, and the Mercedes W12 is already showing strides in improvement after yesterday’s performance.
A gearbox issue saw the team spend most of Friday morning in the pits sorting the car in order to save some testing time for Valtteri Bottas, who finished out the day completing just 6 laps.
Day 1 of pre season testing 🏁
A day with issues and only few laps. Look forward to efficient next two days to learn about #W12 and have some fun 🔥https://t.co/IZIqHSWWH2#VB77 #F1 @MercedesAMGF1
📷 S.Etherington pic.twitter.com/czB3NF1XPx
— Valtteri Bottas (@ValtteriBottas) March 12, 2021
Hamilton managed to rack up 42 laps during his afternoon stint, but it was clear he was also struggling on track with pace and grip.
Since then, Engineering director, Andrew Shovlin explained what was going on, and how the team felt following a difficult day.
He admitted it was “a poor start to the season from us.
“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 not happy with how the car is performing and it’s pretty clear we have some work to do."
All the latest from Bahrain with Shov, Valtteri and Lewis 👇
— Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS F1 Team (@MercedesAMGF1) March 12, 2021
“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.”
Meanwhile, there are 2.5 hours left in this morning’s session, with Alonso currently leading the lap times in his A521 at 1:32.769s, and the Mercedes seems to be coming back to life in the hands of Lewis Hamilton.