George Russell, Mercedes, Bahrain International Circuit, 2023 pre-season test

Mercedes had “no bouncing” with W14 during first 69 laps of test – Wolff

2023 F1 season

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The bouncing problem which severely compromised Mercedes’ start to last season has not recurred so far with the team’s new car.

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff told media including RaceFans George Russell was “generally happy with the car” after covering 69 laps with it at the Bahrain International Circuit today.

“It seems to be balanced in the right way,” said Wolff. “There’s no bouncing, which is good news, apart from that big bump at the end of the straight.”

The team have “a good starting point” after the first half-day of running in the sole, three-day test before the championship begins next week.

Alexander Albon, Williams, Bahrain International Circuit, 2023 pre-season test
Gallery: 2023 F1 pre-season testing day one in pictures
“We’re gathering a lot of data because that was important to correlate obviously after last year, and trying different things,” said Wolff. “So a productive first morning.”

Bahrain hosted the second of two pre-season tests last year. Mercedes already “knew that we were in trouble” by that point, said Wolff. “The car was just bouncing around and we really weren’t able to drive it correctly.

“So that is very different. I think we have a solid base now to work from and try to optimise the car, which we haven’t done yet. It’s really just finding out are there any areas that could be a real performance hindrance like last year with the bouncing. We’ve just got to work through the programme.”

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Mercedes largely eliminated their porpoising problem during the course of 2022, but the performance of their car remained compromised by the changes they made to cope with it.

Wolff admitted they had detected “a little bit of movement in turn 12,” this morning. However he said it was “not anywhere close to the degree that we had last year” and is “not performance-limiting.”

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner said Max Verstappen had reported parts of the Bahrain circuit have become bumpier. His opposite number at Ferrari, Frederic Vasseur, concurred.

“It’s not at all as it was one year ago with the car bouncing like a kangaroo. Today we have on some part of the track before turn one, turn 12, it’s a bit more bumpy than it was before, but it’s a different issue.”

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2023 F1 season

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Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...
Claire Cottingham
Claire has worked in motorsport for much of her career, covering a broad mix of championships including Formula One, Formula E, the BTCC, British...

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5 comments on “Mercedes had “no bouncing” with W14 during first 69 laps of test – Wolff”

  1. They had no bouncing today and they tried so hard not to reveal their cards. I used driver tracker on F1 Live Timing and it was really really painful to watch what was George doing. This is the most inconclusive day of testing I witnessed so far. Various stints and various sectors used to competitive level telling me nothing about true pace of the car. I know the test is for engineers but that was to much for my taste.

  2. ‘No Bouncing After 69’ would’ve made a better, more click-baity headline, Keith! 😜

    1. @sonnycrockett 69 laps can be understood differently ;D

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