Mercedes hits gearbox issue in opening session of Bahrain F1 test

Mercedes suffered an early setback in the opening session of the Bahrain Formula 1 pre-season test after being forced into a gearbox change in the first hour.

Mercedes hits gearbox issue in opening session of Bahrain F1 test

Valtteri Bottas was due to rack up the laps in the Mercedes W12 on Friday morning at the Bahrain International Circuit, completing the early session before handing over to Lewis Hamilton for the afternoon.

But Bottas could only manage an initial installation lap for Mercedes before the team discovered an issue with the gearshift on the transmission.

Mercedes put up the sight screens in front of the garage - only permitted when there is an issue on the car - and confirmed in a short statement that it was a gearbox issue.

“We have a gearshift problem and are swapping the gearbox to get back out on track, then will diagnose the problem with the original box,” the team said.

It is expected that it will take around 45 to 60 minutes for Mercedes to complete the change before Bottas can get back out on-track, marking an early setback given the limited testing time this year.

 

Teams have been limited to just three days of pre-season running in 2021 following the carryover of the cars in the regulations, meaning drivers should get a maximum of 12 hours of running each.

Earlier, Mercedes revealed the floor design of the W12 car that fuelled intrigue at the launch event when it moved to hide its concept.

All 10 teams were able to hit the track for at least one lap during the first hour of running in Bahrain, with Alfa Romeo’s Kimi Raikkonen setting the early benchmark with a lap of 1m34.686s.

Charles Leclerc notched the most laps in the opening hour for Ferrari, racking up 17 with a variety of rakes and aero sensors attached to the rear of the SF21 car.

A number of drivers had lock-ups at the heavy braking points, with Red Bull’s Max Verstappen having the only major moment when he had a half-spin exiting Turn 2. The Dutchman was able to catch the car and avoid touching the gravel before continuing.

shares
Vettel to race with pink F1 helmet after becoming BWT ambassador
Previous article

Vettel to race with pink F1 helmet after becoming BWT ambassador

Next article

Haas unveils new additions for 2021 F1 car

Haas unveils new additions for 2021 F1 car
Why the future is bright for the British GP Plus

Why the future is bright for the British GP

It wasn’t so long ago the situation looked bleak at Silverstone with the future of the British Grand Prix under threat. But a transformation has seen it restored to one of the most important races on the Formula 1 calendar, with bigger and better to come

Could mixed fortunes for F1's leading Brits turn around at Silverstone? Plus

Could mixed fortunes for F1's leading Brits turn around at Silverstone?

For the first time in many years, none of the local racers starts among the favourites for the British Grand Prix. But George Russell, Lewis Hamilton and Lando Norris could have reasons for optimism

Formula 1
Jun 30, 2022
Verstappen exclusive: Why F1’s champion isn’t fazed by Silverstone return Plus

Verstappen exclusive: Why F1’s champion isn’t fazed by Silverstone return

Max Verstappen is the world’s number one racing driver… and he’s determined to keep it that way. Speaking exclusively to GP Racing's OLEG KARPOV, the Red Bull driver explains why he’s relishing the 2022 championship battle with Charles Leclerc – and why he’s not worried about returning to Silverstone, the scene of the biggest accident of his career last year

Formula 1
Jun 30, 2022
Why Red Bull’s RB17 hypercar can help its F1 team Plus

Why Red Bull’s RB17 hypercar can help its F1 team

On Tuesday, Red Bull laid out its plans to develop and build a new hypercar - the RB17 - penned by Adrian Newey. As the project itself sates Newey as a creative outlet, it also offers Red Bull's Formula 1 team a number of new and exciting avenues to pursue

Formula 1
Jun 29, 2022
What to expect from Mercedes as F1 returns to Silverstone Plus

What to expect from Mercedes as F1 returns to Silverstone

OPINION: The British Grand Prix is a home event for Lewis Hamilton and George Russell, with their Mercedes team based just a few miles away too. But there’s another reason why the Silver Arrows squad is eager to arrive at Silverstone this weekend, which may help it fix its remaining problems with its 2022 Formula 1 challenger

Formula 1
Jun 29, 2022
The “solemn promise” that cost quiet hero Brooks an F1 title Plus

The “solemn promise” that cost quiet hero Brooks an F1 title

After two terrifying crashes, one of the best British racers of the 1950s retired before his career peaked. But that’s why GP Racing’s MAURICE HAMILTON was able to speak to Tony Brooks in 2014. Like his friend Stirling Moss, Brooks was regarded as one of the best drivers never to have won the world championship. Here, as our tribute to Brooks who died last month, is that interview in full

Formula 1
Jun 27, 2022
Inside the Faenza facility where AlphaTauri’s F1 pragmatic vision is realised Plus

Inside the Faenza facility where AlphaTauri’s F1 pragmatic vision is realised

AlphaTauri’s mission in F1 is to sell clothes and train young drivers rather than win the championship – but you still need a cutting-edge factory to do that. Team boss Franz Tost takes GP Racing’s OLEG KARPOV on a guided tour of a facility that’s continuing to grow

Formula 1
Jun 26, 2022
Connecting two of Ferrari's favourite F1 sons Plus

Connecting two of Ferrari's favourite F1 sons

Gilles Villeneuve's exploits behind the wheel of a Ferrari made him a legend to the tifosi, even 40 years after his death. The team's current Formula 1 star Charles Leclerc enjoys a similar status, and recently got behind the wheel of a very special car from the French-Canadian’s career

Formula 1
Jun 24, 2022