Engine issue hurt Mercedes' plans to evaluate new F1 aero parts

Mercedes' oil pressure problem in Barcelona Formula 1 testing hampered the team's chance to fully evaluate its new aerodynamic package

Engine issue hurt Mercedes' plans to evaluate new F1 aero parts

F1's champion squad arrived at the final week of pre-season running with substantial revisions to its W10 design.

Lewis Hamilton covered 83 laps in the morning, but when Valtteri Bottas took over for the afternoon session the car stopped on its out-lap.

Mercedes undertook a rapid precautionary engine change in response to the oil pressure problem it had suffered, but Bottas only had time for seven more laps at the end of the day.

Technical director James Allison revealed that the package Mercedes had introduced was its intended Australian Grand Prix specification, and different enough from the week one version that the loss of mileage was a problem.

"It was not exactly the day we hoped for, running for the first time with the bodywork kit that we expect to use in Melbourne, with a large part of the day lost to an oil pressure issue at lunchtime," said Allison.

"Nevertheless, either side of that problem we did do some useful things, finding that the car behaves a little differently with the new package.

"We're looking forward very much to have a trouble-free day tomorrow to get a better feel for what it can do."

Hamilton described the revised Mercedes as "feeling relatively good" and "an improvement from last week, which is a good step".

Bottas underlined that the car had provided "four days of flawless reliability last week" before Tuesday's problem and praised Mercedes for its quick engine change.

"The team did a really good job to get the car out again; it was important to get a bit of a feel for the new aero package," he said.

"My running was obviously very limited, but it seems like we've made improvements."

Mercedes' likely title rival Ferrari also lost running on Tuesday as Charles Leclerc was limited to 29 laps during the morning session.

Ferrari said Leclerc's long absence from the track was "because some checks were required on the SF90's cooling system".

The car ran smoothly when Sebastian Vettel took over for the afternoon, allowing the German to cover 81 laps.

"We did fewer laps than planned, but I'm sure we can make up for lost work in the coming days," said Leclerc.

shares
comments
Formula 1 2019 rule changes make 'big difference' - Kevin Magnussen
Previous article

Formula 1 2019 rule changes make 'big difference' - Kevin Magnussen

Next article

F1 testing video: Red Bull starts to show its hand at Barcelona

F1 testing video: Red Bull starts to show its hand at Barcelona
Load comments
Unpacking the technical changes behind F1 2022's rules shakeup Plus

Unpacking the technical changes behind F1 2022's rules shakeup

Formula 1 cars will look very different this year as the long-awaited fresh rules finally arrive with the stated aim of improving its quality of racing. Autosport breaks down what the return of 'ground effect' aerodynamics - and a flurry of other changes besides - means for the teams, and what fans can expect

Why new era F1 is still dogged by its old world problems Plus

Why new era F1 is still dogged by its old world problems

OPINION: The 2022 Formula 1 season is just weeks away from getting underway. But instead of focusing on what is to come, the attention still remains on what has been – not least the Abu Dhabi title decider controversy. That, plus other key talking points, must be resolved to allow the series to warmly welcome in its new era

Formula 1
Jan 20, 2022
The Schumacher trait that will give Haas hope in F1 2022 Plus

The Schumacher trait that will give Haas hope in F1 2022

Mick Schumacher’s knack of improving during his second season in a championship was a trademark of his junior formula career, so his progress during his rookie Formula 1 campaign with Haas was encouraging. His target now will be to turn that improvement into results as the team hopes to reap the rewards of sacrificing development in 2021

Formula 1
Jan 19, 2022
The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push Plus

The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push

As the driver of Formula 1’s medical car, Alan van der Merwe’s job is to wait – and hope his skills aren’t needed. JAMES NEWBOLD hears from F1’s lesser-known stalwarts

Formula 1
Jan 15, 2022
When BMW added F1 'rocket fuel' to ignite Brabham's 1983 title push Plus

When BMW added F1 'rocket fuel' to ignite Brabham's 1983 title push

There was an ace up the sleeve during the 1983 F1 title-winning season of Nelson Piquet and Brabham. It made a frontrunning car invincible for the last three races to see off Renault's Alain Prost and secure the combination's second world title in three years

Formula 1
Jan 13, 2022
How “abysmal” reliability blunted Brabham’s first winner Plus

How “abysmal” reliability blunted Brabham’s first winner

Brabham’s first world championship race-winning car was held back by unreliable Climax engines – or so its creators believed, as STUART CODLING explains

Formula 1
Jan 10, 2022
The steps Norris took to reach a new level in F1 2021 Plus

The steps Norris took to reach a new level in F1 2021

Lando Norris came of age as a grand prix driver in 2021. McLaren’s young ace is no longer an apprentice or a quietly capable number two – he’s proved himself a potential winner in the top flight and, as STUART CODLING finds out, he’s ready to stake his claim to greatness…

Formula 1
Jan 9, 2022
The original F1 maestro who set the bar for Schumacher and Hamilton Plus

The original F1 maestro who set the bar for Schumacher and Hamilton

Juan Manuel Fangio, peerless on track and charming off it, established the gold standard of grand prix greatness. NIGEL ROEBUCK recalls a remarkable champion

Formula 1
Jan 8, 2022