Mercedes: Data shows we’re not as quick as Red Bull after F1 testing

Mercedes says it has its "work cut out" for the new Formula 1 season after its testing data showed it is not as quick as Red Bull over race runs.

Mercedes: Data shows we’re not as quick as Red Bull after F1 testing

Mercedes suffered setbacks on the first two days of testing at the Bahrain International Circuit, with drivers Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas losing track time to issues and reporting rear-end instability with the car.

Although Mercedes closed out the running in Bahrain with a trouble-free final day, the team still ended testing at the bottom of the mileage table.

Lewis Hamilton ended testing with the fifth-fastest time, but was over a second off Max Verstappen's best effort for Red Bull.

Although Red Bull has moved to downplay its favourite tag, Mercedes trackside engineering director Andrew Shovlin said at the end of testing that the team's data proved it was behind on pace.

"We've made a bit of progress with the balance on higher fuel and the car was more predictable but we can see from the data we've collected over the last few days that on race pace, we're not as quick as Red Bull," Shovlin said.

"The lower fuel work was a more confusing picture, we didn't gain enough and we need to go and look at our approach as far too many cars were ahead of us on pace today.

"We've had issues in recent years with pace in winter testing and managed to make good progress before the first race but we may have our work cut out this time.

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes W12

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes W12

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

"We've not got long before we're back here for the race so we've planned a programme of work to try and understand some of our issues and will be leaving no stone unturned in our efforts to find some more speed over the next 10 days."

Mercedes spent the final day of testing focusing on long-run set-up work with Bottas in the morning before Hamilton conducted a mix of long-runs and qualifying simulations in the evening.

Even fitting the softest available C5 compound tyre, Hamilton struggled to match Verstappen's pace in the Red Bull.

"Today we made some improvements but it's still not where we want to be," Hamilton said.

"I can't pick out any one area, it just feels globally through the lap that we need to improve. I'm looking forward to getting back into competition and back in that focus mode."

shares
comments

Related video

Vettel lacking “100 laps” of F1 test mileage with Aston Martin

Previous article

Vettel lacking “100 laps” of F1 test mileage with Aston Martin

Next article

Verstappen: 2021 pre-season ‘definitely’ my best with Red Bull

Verstappen: 2021 pre-season ‘definitely’ my best with Red Bull
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Teams Red Bull Racing , Mercedes
Author Luke Smith
How Hamilton’s qualifying record compares to Senna and Schumacher Plus

How Hamilton’s qualifying record compares to Senna and Schumacher

Lewis Hamilton has just become the first driver to record 100 world championship Formula 1 pole positions. Time to revisit a debate we discussed when he reached 150 front row starts in 2020.

Why sustainability is being mandated by F1 Plus

Why sustainability is being mandated by F1

Continuing to be socially acceptable as public views shift globally is vitally important to the future of motor racing, says PAT SYMONDS - especially in Formula 1, the championship that represents the technological peak

The Barcelona practice times that prove Red Bull's title credentials, and heap pressure on Verstappen Plus

The Barcelona practice times that prove Red Bull's title credentials, and heap pressure on Verstappen

Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes led the way in Friday practice for the 2021 Spanish Grand Prix, but there was one big encouraging sign for Red Bull. The trouble is, it looks like making good on that gain will require its superstar driver to avoid repeating a mistake made today that left him well down the FP2 order

Formula 1
May 7, 2021
Why McLaren doesn’t doubt Ricciardo can escape his ‘dark’ place Plus

Why McLaren doesn’t doubt Ricciardo can escape his ‘dark’ place

Three points finishes from as many starts represents a decent opening innings on paper, but Daniel Ricciardo has endured a tough start to his McLaren career - only magnified his team-mate's excellent form. Yet both he and the team have good reason to expect a turnaround soon

Formula 1
May 6, 2021
What needs to “change” for Red Bull is ending Verstappen’s errors Plus

What needs to “change” for Red Bull is ending Verstappen’s errors

OPINION: Going up against the dominant force of Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton was always going to demand the best from Red Bull and Max Verstappen. But after making a couple more errors during the Portuguese Grand Prix, the Dutch driver showed there's a small gap he still needs to close in the 2021 Formula 1 title fight

Formula 1
May 5, 2021
The "subtle" Red Bull upgrades that kept it in the Portugal F1 mix Plus

The "subtle" Red Bull upgrades that kept it in the Portugal F1 mix

Red Bull's Portuguese Grand Prix fortunes were decidedly second best to Mercedes', but the result skews the potential that the team had at Portimao. With a new set of updates, the team looks good going forward into the rest of 2021's spicy F1 competition

Formula 1
May 3, 2021
Portuguese Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Portuguese Grand Prix Driver Ratings

The 2021 Portuguese GP will for several drivers go down as a weekend of missed opportunities amid imperfect track conditions that caused struggles with tyre warmup. But the performances of a select few stood out from the crowd

Formula 1
May 3, 2021
How Hamilton took a “completely different journey” to Portugal victory Plus

How Hamilton took a “completely different journey” to Portugal victory

Just as he did in 2020, Lewis Hamilton had to come from behind to win the 2021 Portuguese Grand Prix. Only this time there were two rivals he had to pass, among the several challenges he had to overcome, on his way to securing a 97th grand prix victory

Formula 1
May 3, 2021