Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport technical director James Allison admitted it was not the teams best day after a tough Friday at the Bahrain International Circuit, and they are still seeking the kind of pace they had in the season-opening Australian Grand Prix.
Valtteri Bottas finished second fastest in the opening practice session behind Daniel Ricciardo before slipping back to third in the second practice session as the Scuderia Ferrari’s of Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel took over at the top.
The other Mercedes car of Lewis Hamilton finished fifth and fourth in the two sessions, while the Briton has also been handed a five-place grid penalty after a unscheduled gearbox change.
However, Mercedes were the only one out of Aston Martin Red Bull Racing and Ferrari to not have any reliability troubles in either of the Friday sessions, with Max Verstappen stopping early in the opening session for the former and Raikkonen in the evening session for the later.
“Although we were untroubled by any reliability issues, and we ran through our programme as expected, it wasn’t our best day from a performance point of view,” said Allison.
“We’ve got more to do overnight and in the session tomorrow to give us a car that will allow us to have a good fight in Qualifying and on Sunday. The base is okay but we have not yet found the sort of edge that we had in Melbourne.”