2021 Pre-Season Test, Day 1

12.
March 2021
Sakhir

Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team completes 48 laps on the first day of pre-season testing

Date:                            Friday, 12 March 2021

Driver:                          Valtteri Bottas (AM), Lewis Hamilton (PM)

Circuit:                         Bahrain International Circuit

Circuit Length:              5.412 km

Laps Completed:          Valtteri 6, Lewis 42, Total 48

Distance Covered:        Valtteri 32.47km, Lewis 227.304km, Total 259.774km

Best Lap Time:              Valtteri 1:36.850, Lewis 1:32.912

A gearshift problem in the morning session hindered the early progress of the Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team on day one of pre-season testing in Bahrain but a solid afternoon of running helped to recover some of the testing and development targets for the day.

  • Valtteri was up first in the morning session but his initial run was disrupted by a gearshift problem on lap one. The Finn went on to complete a further 5 laps collecting aerodynamic data after his gearbox was replaced.
  • Lewis took to the track in the afternoon session, completing 42 laps exploring various set-up changes and signing-off several test items and procedures.
  • Mercedes-Benz Power Units completed a total of 1,721km today
  • Rights-free imagery of the day is available on our media site
  • To download all available imagery from today with just one click, please use the following link (please note that imagery will download in a zip folder): Image selection
  • Tomorrow, Lewis will be behind the wheel of the Mercedes-AMG F1 W12 E Performance in the morning session, with Valtteri taking the afternoon session

Valtteri Bottas

The whole team was looking forward to getting on track but on the install lap we noticed an issue with the gearbox so we had to localise the problem and change the gearbox which takes quite a bit of time. Only at the end of the morning session could we get back out for a few more laps before the red flag. A total of six laps for me, all with aero rakes on the car so not much running today and not an ideal start.

In recent years things have been pretty much bulletproof so it’s not a familiar experience. The good thing is that this year if you miss some running you can hopefully catch up because of the mileage limitation linked to the cost cap efficiencies. I am confident we can recover and I’m looking forward to two good days over the weekend.

Lewis Hamilton

Today definitely wasn’t the cleanest of days that we’ve had but these things are sent to try us. 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. I think they did a great job to turn the car around. The second session wasn’t without its challenges, but we exist to find solutions to the problems we’re faced with. We just had a good debrief and we’ll keep working away.

I’ve never seen a sandstorm come through here before in all the years that I’ve driven at this circuit. 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.

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. 

Andrew Shovlin

It’s been a poor start to the season from us today.  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. 

Position

Driver

Team

Best Lap Time

Laps Completed

1

Max Verstappen

Red Bull

1:30.674

138

2

Lando Norris

McLaren

1:30.889

45

3

Esteban Ocon

Alpine

1:31.146

128

4

Lance Stroll

Aston Martin

1:31.782

46

5

Carlos Sainz

Ferrari

1:31.919

56

6

Antonio Giovinazzi

Alfa Romeo

1:31.945

68

7

Daniel Ricciardo

McLaren

1:32.203

45

8

Pierre Gasly

AlphaTauri

1:32.231

74

9

Yuki Tsunoda

AlphaTauri

1:32.727

37

10

Lewis Hamilton

Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team

1:32.912

42

11

Charles Leclerc

Ferrari

1:33.242

59

12

Kimi Raikkonen

Alfa Romeo

1:33.320

63

13

Sebastien Vettel

Aston Martin

1:33.742

51

14

Roy Nissany

Williams

1:34.789

83

15

Nikita Mazepin

Haas

1:34.798

69

16

Mick Schumacher

Haas

1:36.127

15

17

Valtteri Bottas

Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team

1:36.850

6

 

Press Contact

  • Mercedes-Benz Motorsport Communications Director / F1-Communications
  • Tel: +44 1280 844484

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Formula One - Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport, Pre-Season Testing 2021. Bahrain. F1. Tests. Lewis Hamilton, Valtteri Bottas
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Formula One - Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport, Pre-Season Testing 2021. Bahrain. F1. Tests. Lewis Hamilton, Valtteri Bottas
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Formula One - Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport, Pre-Season Testing 2021. Bahrain. F1. Tests. Lewis Hamilton,
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Formula One - Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport, Pre-Season Testing 2021. Bahrain. F1. Tests.  Valtteri Bottas
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Formula One - Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport, Pre-Season Testing 2021. Bahrain. F1. Tests.  Valtteri Bottas
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Formula One - Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport, Pre-Season Testing 2021. Bahrain. F1. Tests. Lewis Hamilton,
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Formula One - Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport, Pre-Season Testing 2021. Bahrain. F1. Tests. Lewis Hamilton,
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Formula One - Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport, Pre-Season Testing 2021. Bahrain. F1. Tests. Lewis Hamilton,
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Formula One - Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport, Pre-Season Testing 2021. Bahrain. F1. Tests. Lewis Hamilton,
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