Mercedes: 'We didn't expect to lose so much time'

18-03-2021 14:30 | Updated: 18-03-2021 14:48
F1 News
Mercedes: 'We didn't expect to lose so much time'

Ahead of the start of the 2021 Formula 1 season, the different constructors went to Bahrain to test their new cars. After testing there is always talk about the results and that was most certainly the case with Mercedes this year. A subject of discussion was why they stayed in the pit lane for so long during the tests.

During a question and answer session James Vowles and Andrew Shovlin, motorsport strategy director and trackside engineering director at Mercedes, explained why so much time was lost after lunch. Each time the Mercedes car stayed in the pit lane for over an hour, causing valuable time to be lost. Shovlin explains:

"It was for various reasons, but basically it came down to the fact that a lot of work needed to be done on the car. We had to do a driver swap, which involved changing pedals and more. We also took the floor off the car to make some changes to the Power Unit. We didn't think we would lose an hour, but rather fifteen minutes or half an hour. “

No flawless start for Mercedes during testing

So Mercedes' planning went a bit haywire during testing, but that wasn't all. The car for 2021 also has some flaws. The rear of the car is a bit unstable and the gearbox didn't work properly. Vowles talked about this in the question and answer session.

"I think that's a good observation. It was very visible on the outside and I have to say the lap times reflected that. We also have to be honest in saying that we don't have all the answers yet, it's only 24 hours after testing and there are mountains of data available. There is a long route ahead of us to understand what caused it. Competing teams, in our opinion, had no balance issues"

Shovlin complemented Vowles by saying that there is a focus on understanding why the rear of the Mercedes was so weak during testing and how it can be strengthened. Hopefully Mercedes will get this under control before the races get underway on 28 March.

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