At one end where Lewis Hamilton is trying to be optimistic about his eighth world championship this year; at the other end, he suspects a need to be realistic at the moment. With the black W14, Mercedes indeed made a solid start. But during the Bahrain pre-season test session, the team somehow went for the reality check. The test runnings are obviously meant for testing out the new F1 cars in order to fix them before the season begins.
But facing so much of a problem from the car that was supposed to announce a strong comeback of Mercedes is not considered good at all. Just ahead of the 2023 F1 campaign, the Silver Arrows tried to host a strong test session in Bahrain. However, on the second day, they faced hydraulic and balancing issues.
On Friday, Lewis Hamilton took the W14 to wheels in the morning session. He finished 74 laps, the eighth fastest, and complained that the car was giving balancing problems. In the evening, George Russell had to cause Red Flags due to the hydraulic issues that occurred in the W14. And unluckily, these were not the only Mercedes problems. Later several other issues were recorded. According to Auto Motor und Sport, the German manufacturer has experienced a “strange loss of downforce” during the Bahrain three days pre-season test.
They claimed that apart from the hydraulic issues, the W14 had also suffered from a strange loss of downforce on the front axle of the car. And the worst part about the loss is that it is not yet identified. Journalist Tobi Gruner has admitted that at the end of the day, Mercedes had an internal meeting where they discussed other issues with the new car. The Journalist explained, “I hope that the night service of the team comes up with an explanation [for the cause of the strange downforce].
Mike Elliott Explains The Reasons Why Mercedes Was Bad At Bahrain Pre-Season Test
Mercedes, despite being the face of a strong comeback, remained lowkey in the pre-season test sessions. Red Bull managed to be the fastest car in all three days of test runs. It is okay for a team to experience faults in the new car. After all, this is what the testing needs to be done. But at this time, when Ferrari and Red Bull are testing for their betterment, why is Mercedes still figuring out the causes of strange issues? Mike Elliott explained the reason for Mercedes being dull in Bahrain last week.
He said, “Mercedes was probably not wearing the wing when we came racing.” Later Mike also admitted that the team had developed the car’s efficiency quite a lot over the winter. He claimed, “Where Mercedes chose to run is about how we think it the best way to run the race… In testing, it is all about trying to understand. And so we have not any work moving up and down in terms of downforce level.”
The technical director of the Brackley based-team explained that through the testing sessions, they tried to keep it constant. And acquire as much data as they could get from the car to understand the issue to its fullest. And the issues that the black livery W14 may face will be handled even before it comes.