Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team chief engineer Andrew Shovlin thinks the team still has some work cut out of them before the start of the season. From the data they’ve collected, they can already tell that the team just simply wasn’t as quick as Red Bull Racing.
Shovlin said, “We’ve had another day with good reliability where we were able to run to plan throughout the day. Valtteri was doing long run setup work in the morning and Lewis doing a mix of long run work and qualifying work in the afternoon.
“We’ve made a bit of progress with the balance on higher fuel and the car was more predictable but we can see from the data we’ve collected over the last few days that on race pace, we’re not as quick as Red Bull.”
Despite being world champions seven years in a row, the team always seem to struggle when it comes to winter testing. In previous years, they don’t always have the pace but manage to prove in the races that they are the team to beat.
“The lower fuel work was a more confusing picture, we didn’t gain enough and we need to go and look at our approach as far too many cars were ahead of us on pace today. We’ve had issues in recent years with pace in winter testing and managed to make good progress before the first race but we may have our work cut out this time.”
With just over a week until the Bahrain Grand Prix, the team have put some plans in place to get the car up to speed, ready to defend their world champions title.
“We’ve not got long before we’re back here for the race so we’ve planned a programme of work to try and understand some of our issues and will be leaving no stone unturned in our efforts to find some more speed over the next ten days. “