Vettel confident Mercedes will bounce back after troubled test

Sebastian Vettel believes Mercedes will bounce back from its pre-season Formula 1 testing woes by the first race, despite lacking the "mileage miracle" it had in recent years.

Vettel confident Mercedes will bounce back after troubled test

Mercedes endured a troubled weekend of testing in Bahrain as reliability dramas and difficulties for both its drivers in finding a good balance left it on the back foot.

By the end of the test, Mercedes had completed the fewest laps of all teams, with its drivers having logged just 1645km over the three days. That compares with AlphaTauri and Alfa Romeo putting in 2284km each, and Red Bull notching up 1997km.

The Mercedes situation was in marked contrast to how the team has proved to be pretty bulletproof in pre-season tests over recent years, as it often racked up near perfect preparations.

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes W12

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes W12

Photo by: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images

Despite Mercedes looking to be behind Red Bull right now, Vettel has no doubts that the German car manufacturer will be back in the fight by the first race later this month.

“It's probably fair to say that Mercedes didn't have the mileage miracle that they had in the last years,” explained Vettel, who has switched to Mercedes customer team Aston Martin this year.

“But then again, I'm sure that they will be alright at the first race. And Red Bull are doing what they are supposed to do: challenging. So I think it will be either Mercedes or Red Bull.”

Read Also:

Vettel is not the only Mercedes rival convinced that the German car manufacturer should not be discounted despite its difficult start to winter testing. Williams driver George Russell, who is a Mercedes junior driver, equally has no doubts that it is not in as bad a situation as some are suggesting.

"I've not really looked at the guys at the top, but I've asked them how it's going," said Russell. "They are Mercedes. They are going to be fine. I am pretty confident on that."

Vettel had his own first hand experience of Mercedes reliability troubles too, after suffering a gearbox problem and a turbo failure during his running with Aston Martin in Bahrain.

Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes W12

Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes W12

Photo by: Sam Bloxham / Motorsport Images

Although those parts were supplied by Mercedes, he said that the issues may not have been entirely the fault of its supplier.

"It's true that the power unit is the Mercedes power unit and the gearbox is supplied by Mercedes, but still it's installed into our car so there's a lot of components that sort of mix at some stage," said Vettel.

"I don't know to be honest right now where the source of the problem was, we need to get to the bottom of it. Ultimately it will be more on one side or the other side, but it doesn't matter. It needs to be fixed, and addressed.

"But, like I said, you obviously work together because whatever you acquire from outside, you still need to put it in your car and make it work."

shares
comments

Related video

Marko hails best ever Red Bull pre-season test

Previous article

Marko hails best ever Red Bull pre-season test

Next article

Aero concept set to cause "yo-yo" F1 2021 season for Williams

Aero concept set to cause "yo-yo" F1 2021 season for Williams
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Drivers Sebastian Vettel
Teams Aston Martin Racing , Mercedes
Author Jonathan Noble
Why Bottas feels the time has come to be “more selfish” Plus

Why Bottas feels the time has come to be “more selfish”

We’ve seen five distinct versions of Valtteri Bottas at Mercedes as he’s tried to fulfil his own ambitions while being a consummate team player – two difficult, competing missions which have been challenging to reconcile. Speaking exclusively to STUART CODLING, Bottas explains his highs and lows… and why he still believes he can be world champion

Does Aston have a case in F1 2021’s big technical row? Plus

Does Aston have a case in F1 2021’s big technical row?

Aston Martin claims Formula 1’s latest technical tweaks have cost it competitiveness – and that it’s the innocent victim of a regulatory stitch-up aimed at pegging back Mercedes. But is any of this actually true? It depends on who you ask, says STUART CODLING

Formula 1
May 14, 2021
How long can F1 2021's brewing title battle stay clean? Plus

How long can F1 2021's brewing title battle stay clean?

Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen have been evenly matched so far in the 2021 Formula 1 title race. Neither has been afraid to get aggressive against each other on track, teeing up an enthralling contest as the year unwinds. But is their rivalry destined to end in broken shards of carbon fibre?

Formula 1
May 13, 2021
What the Spain result tells F1 about the next phase of the Mercedes/Red Bull title fight Plus

What the Spain result tells F1 about the next phase of the Mercedes/Red Bull title fight

OPINION: Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes have recovered from their pre-season woes to take three wins from the opening four races of 2021. But each time Red Bull and Max Verstappen have pushed them hard. So, what clues did the latest round of that battle – the Spanish Grand Prix – tease about the next stage of the season?

Formula 1
May 12, 2021
How Brabham’s one-hit wonder was boxed into a corner Plus

How Brabham’s one-hit wonder was boxed into a corner

The Brabham BT46B raced once, won once, then vanished – or did it? STUART CODLING reveals the story of the car which was never actually banned…

Formula 1
May 11, 2021
The changes Barcelona needs to provide a modern-day F1 spectacle Plus

The changes Barcelona needs to provide a modern-day F1 spectacle

Formula 1’s visits to Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya over recent years have been met with familiar criticisms despite tweaks here and there to the track to improve racing. With the 2021 Spanish Grand Prix largely going the same way, proper solutions need to be followed to achieve F1’s wider targets

Formula 1
May 10, 2021
Spanish Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Spanish Grand Prix Driver Ratings

Often described as Formula 1's laboratory, the Circuit de Catalunya-Barcelona gave the clearest demonstration yet of the pecking order in 2021. And it's the key discrepancies from that order which illuminate who is excelling, and who needs to hit the reset button

Formula 1
May 10, 2021
How Red Bull’s deja vu set Hamilton on the winning path in Spain Plus

How Red Bull’s deja vu set Hamilton on the winning path in Spain

An aggressive first corner move from Max Verstappen appeared to have set the Red Bull driver on course for victory in the Spanish Grand Prix. But canny strategy from Mercedes - combined with the absence of Red Bull's number two from the lead group - allowed Lewis Hamilton to pull off a demoralising reversal

Formula 1
May 10, 2021