Mercedes F1's step forward helped by Bahrain "sting"

Mercedes says the "sting" of not being fastest at the Formula 1 season opener helped galvanise the team to turn things around for this weekend’s Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.

Mercedes F1's step forward helped by Bahrain "sting"

While Red Bull had the fastest car in Bahrain, Mercedes appears to have the edge at Imola with Valtteri Bottas quickest in both Friday practice sessions.

Mercedes technical director James Allison said the team had not taken what happened in Bahrain lightly, even though an aggressive strategy and great defensive driving from Lewis Hamilton helped it win.

Reflecting on the work done over the past three weeks, Allison said: “I think it is human nature that when you get stung, you leap around a bit more intensely than you might otherwise.

“We certainly love the race and we love the fight, but we don’t enjoy feeling second best.

“The Red Bull was quicker than us in Bahrain and we have been doing our best to try to move our car forward so that we don’t have to suffer that sting any longer than we have to.”

Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes W12

Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes W12

Photo by: Charles Coates / Motorsport Images

Allison said the progress shown at Imola was a result of the team having found a much better balance for the W12 rather than it being down to any car upgrades.

Both drivers had struggled with the rear end in Bahrain, but an intense effort at the factory plus a mammoth recent simulator session with Bottas has unlocked some answers about the best setup the car needs.

“It is just people working in simulation trying to see the areas in which the car was protesting at us over there [in Bahrain],” he said.

“It’s about finding a balance through the corner that works better. But the key is nearly always the same and that is making sure the tyres are at the right temperature front and rear axle, from braking, through the apex and on the way out again.”

Read Also:

While Mercedes leads both championships, Allison said the start to the season did not feel the same as previous years because the team was not fully on top of its car.

“It is a different sensation,” he said. “Although last year was amazing as we collectively produced one of the all time great racing cars and had a season that was pretty immaculate, there are not too many parts of last year that are deeply, deeply memorable.

“An easy win doesn’t linger in the mind like one that is fought for tooth and claw like that one in Bahrain.

“Winning from a position of underdog, which is what we definitely were, is just a brilliant experience and you remember it forever. I know I will be boring my grandkids with that.”

shares
comments
F1 Emilia Romagna GP Live Commentary and Updates - FP3 and Qualifying
Previous article

F1 Emilia Romagna GP Live Commentary and Updates - FP3 and Qualifying

Next article

How a harshly ejected Red Bull star has been hooked by racing again

How a harshly ejected Red Bull star has been hooked by racing again
The under-fire F1 driver fighting for his future Plus

The under-fire F1 driver fighting for his future

Personable, articulate 
and devoid of the usual
 racing driver airs and graces,
 Nicholas Latifi is the last Formula 1 driver you’d expect to receive death threats, but such was the toxic legacy of his part in last year’s explosive season finale. And now, as ALEX KALINAUCKAS explains, he faces a battle to keep his place on the F1 grid…

Formula 1
Aug 13, 2022
The strange tyre travails faced by F1’s past heroes Plus

The strange tyre travails faced by F1’s past heroes

Modern grand prix drivers like to think the tyres they work with are unusually difficult and temperamental. But, says  MAURICE HAMILTON, their predecessors faced many of the same challenges – and some even stranger…

Formula 1
Aug 12, 2022
The returning fan car revolution that could suit F1 Plus

The returning fan car revolution that could suit F1

Gordon Murray's Brabham BT46B 'fan car' was Formula 1 engineering at perhaps its most outlandish. Now fan technology has been successfully utilised on the McMurtry Speirling at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, could it be adopted by grand prix racing once again?

Formula 1
Aug 11, 2022
Hamilton's first experience of turning silver into gold Plus

Hamilton's first experience of turning silver into gold

The seven-time Formula 1 world champion has been lumbered with a duff car before the 2022 Mercedes. Back in 2009, McLaren’s alchemists transformed the disastrous MP4-24 into a winning car with Lewis Hamilton at the wheel. And now it’s happening again at his current team, but can the rate of progress be matched this year?

Formula 1
Aug 11, 2022
Why few could blame Leclerc for following the example of Hamilton’s exit bombshell Plus

Why few could blame Leclerc for following the example of Hamilton’s exit bombshell

OPINION: Ferrari's numerous strategy blunders, as well as some of his own mistakes, have cost Charles Leclerc dearly in the 2022 Formula 1 title battle in the first half of the season. Though he is locked into a deal with Ferrari, few could blame Leclerc if he ultimately wanted to look elsewhere - just as Lewis Hamilton did with McLaren 10 years prior

Formula 1
Aug 9, 2022
The other McLaren exile hoping to follow Perez's path to a top F1 seat Plus

The other McLaren exile hoping to follow Perez's path to a top F1 seat

After being ditched by McLaren earlier in his F1 career Sergio Perez fought his way back into a seat with a leading team. BEN EDWARDS thinks the same could be happening to another member of the current grid

Formula 1
Aug 8, 2022
How studying Schumacher helped make Coulthard a McLaren F1 mainstay Plus

How studying Schumacher helped make Coulthard a McLaren F1 mainstay

Winner of 13 grands prix including Monaco and survivor of a life-changing plane crash, David Coulthard could be forgiven for having eased into a quiet retirement – but, as MARK GALLAGHER explains, in fact he’s busier than ever, running an award-winning media company and championing diversity in motor racing. Not bad for someone who, by his own admission, wasn’t quite the fastest driver of his generation…

Formula 1
Aug 7, 2022
Could F1 move to a future beyond carbonfibre? Plus

Could F1 move to a future beyond carbonfibre?

Formula 1 has ambitious goals for improving its carbon footprint, but could this include banishing its favoured composite material? PAT SYMONDS considers the alternatives to carbonfibre and what use, if any, those materials have in a Formula 1 setting

Formula 1
Aug 6, 2022