Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes, Bahrain International Circuit, 2021

Mercedes have made a “decent recovery” from day one setback – Bottas

2021 F1 Season

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Valtteri Bottas says Mercedes have recovered well from their poor start to pre-season testing, after concluding his running ahead of the first race weekend of the year.

A gearbox problem struck the team on the very first lap of testing, limiting Bottas to just six laps on Friday. Yesterday’s running went better, and Bottas headed the times, and he had another smooth run this morning.

“I feel like we’ve made a decent recovery,” said Bottas after his last run in the W12 during testing.

“I can’t say that we’ve fully achieved the mileage we wanted to get in the three days but actually we’re not that far off. Yesterday I felt like we made 95% at most out of it and today I would say 100%. We had a really solid day today with the laps and quality of the tests.

“So yes, considering what happened on day one, how days two and three went, I’m pleased with that. But now it’s time to turn that data into performance somehow, in the next two weeks before the race.”

Bottas said the team prioritised long runs on Sunday morning. “Some set-up comparisons, again lots of data [collection]. I think we’re making steps forward all the time so that’s good and I want to continue this.”

He is also encouraged by the changes the team has made to improve the balance at the rear end of the car.

“It feels like we’ve made some steps forward. Obviously there’s always more to find and more to gain. But my feeling is we went to the right direction and it felt better.

“I’m still not 100% happy with the car, as you would never be at this early stage of a season. But we keep working, we keep trying to get the balance better, get the car to behave nicer and hopefully, that way, be faster.”

With his pre-season running complete, Bottas said it’s still too soon to judge the performance of the car compared to the team’s rivals.

“It’s just completely unknown where we are at the moment. With three days of testing, with the first day of testing being compromised, it’s so hard to say. But we’re really focussed on our work and trying to be faster and faster.”

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Author information

Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
Hazel Southwell
Hazel is a freelance journalist who roams the paddocks of Formula E, covering the technical and emotional elements of electric racing. Usually found at...

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  • 2 comments on “Mercedes have made a “decent recovery” from day one setback – Bottas”

    1. Well that’s a shock who could have predicted Merc fixing their ‘issues’ and getting on with going very fast. How long before the usual suspects start whining about Merc being to fast it’s not fair the rules need to change where’re taking our ball and going home?

    2. Pre season testing for the last 5-6 years has really got on my “proverbialls”. “Mercedes are finished” “Red Bull/Ferrari CLEARLY have the upper hand”, blah,blah blah blah blah. Every year the “experts” and “warriors” have been wrong yet they persist with this forlorn narrative that Mercedes are not top dogs anymore. I mean, this is like the proverbial “Broken clock”. If they repeat this every year the law of averages says they will be right at some point and they will say,at the top of their voices, “I told you so”. Its a shame as it’s great to see cars on track again but this continued narrative of trying to knock Merc off their perch Is boring and more than a little
      sad. I haven’t bothered watching for the first time in 15 years because, essentially, it means nothing. Lets see what the situation is after 3 races, then tell us Merc are not top dogs anymore.

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