Successful Test Days for Mercedes as Bottas, Mazepin Set the Pace in Spain

by Paul Hensby

The Mercedes AMG Motorsport team continued to lead the way in 2019 during the two-day post-Spanish Grand Prix test, with Valtteri Bottas topping day one on Tuesday and reserve driver Nikita Mazepin doing likewise on Wednesday’s second day.

Andrew Shovlin, the chief race engineer at Mercedes, saw Bottas complete an extensive programme behind the wheel of the W10 on Tuesday at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, with the Finn, twice a winner in 2019 in the opening three races, setting the benchmark time of the test with a 1:15.511.

With limited testing opportunities during the season in Formula 1, getting the maximum out of the test was always going to be important for Mercedes, and Shovlin said it enabled them to work on some of the developments they are planning to bring to the race track across next few Grand Prix.

“We’ve had a trouble-free day with Valtteri and got through most of the programme,” said Shovlin after Tuesday’s running.  “The number of test days is so limited now that you always end up with a very busy programme and it’s important that everything arrives on time with it being our last chance to test this season.

“We’ve had a number of developments on the chassis and Power Unit side which we can hopefully bring to the race car over the next few races. We’ve also done some work on setup for the softer compounds that will be appearing in Monaco and Montreal, along with some longer run work.”

Ron Meadows, the Sporting Director at Mercedes, was impressed with how test driver Mazepin adapted to life behind the wheel of the W10, with the Russian the only other driver aside from Bottas to get into the 1:15s across the two days of the test.

“It’s been another successful day here in Barcelona and we managed to complete all of the programme we had planned,” said Meadows on Wednesday.

“We spent the first three quarters of the day focused on aerodynamic and Power Unit development testing, before switching to one-lap performance runs, working through the different specifications of the tyre with Nikita. He did a really superb job today, just as we expected he would.”

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