The primary day of pre-season testing at Bahrain Worldwide Circuit introduced hope for Mercedes.
The second day? It introduced one thing a lot totally different.
After a primary day of testing that the group known as “productive,” permitting the group to consider that their aerodynamic points from 2022 have been nicely within the rear-view mirror, their second session on Thursday was lower brief, and the Silver Arrows ended their day early having run the fewest laps out of all ten groups.
After Lewis Hamilton accomplished 72 laps throughout the morning session, teammate George Russell took to the monitor for Mercedes’ afternoon session. However early in his run, Russell couldn’t get the Mercedes W14 to shift out of fourth gear, and his steering wheel flashed a sign that the automotive had skilled a hydraulic failure. Russell introduced the W14 to a cease on the monitor, and waited for assist to reach:
The difficulty introduced an early near Mercedes’ day.
“Sadly, we had an hydraulic problem this afternoon which value us some working. Although we didn’t full our full programme, we uncovered some fascinating issues within the information all through the day,” mentioned Russell after his day was lower brief in a press release offered to media together with SBNation. “That may be a constructive and we’ll analyse these in a single day with the intention of discovering lap time. We haven’t unlocked every part but within the W14 and everyone seems to be working arduous to take action and maximise our closing day of testing tomorrow.”
Even Hamilton, who accomplished his session within the morning, known as the day “tough” because the group struggled with tyre temperatures throughout his run.
“It was a tough morning,” mentioned Hamilton on the finish of the day. “The new temperatures made it difficult with the tyres overheating, as we regularly see right here in Bahrain. We acquired via our run plan although and it was good to get that mileage in. Everyone seems to be working extremely arduous, staying targeted, and we’re discovering every part we will in regards to the W14. We’ve acquired a number of work deliberate for the ultimate day of pre-season testing tomorrow.”
Andrew Shovlin, the group’s Trackside Engineering Director, was moderately blunt in his evaluation of the group’s efficiency on the second day. “We’ve not had a robust second day; stopping on monitor with a reliability problem wasn’t nice and we’ve struggled to get the automotive balanced nicely throughout the altering situations,” mentioned Shovlin after the second day of testing. “We’ve acquired some investigations happening to know why this has been such a problem immediately when yesterday it was pretty straight ahead. That work will proceed into the night time and little doubt we’ll perceive extra come the morning. It will likely be fascinating tomorrow to see if we will perceive the drop in efficiency and mitigate the misplaced monitor time.”
Nonetheless, the information was not all unhealthy for Mercedes. In keeping with a piece from F1, the discuss round Bahrain amongst group bosses this week has the Silver Arrows amongst Ferrari and Crimson Bull because the groups to beat this season. “I feel it’s fairly clear, as a result of it seems like Crimson Bull, Ferrari and Mercedes are shut collectively. The remainder of the sphere want to shut the hole to the entrance groups, and I feel the midfield is sort of shut collectively,” mentioned AlphaTauri’s Franz Tost.
Mercedes will hope to indicate extra of that type as testing concludes on Friday.