Final day of testing “much more positive” for Mercedes

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

George Russell was encouraged by the progress Mercedes made on the final day of testing ahead of the 2023 F1 season.

His test yesterday was cut short by a hydraulic failure on the W14 chassis. The team also encountered handling problems with its new car which Lewis Hamilton said were similar to the “balance limitations” they encountered on last year’s car.

However the car ran reliably today, allowing the pair to cover 148 laps, during which time they began to get more out of the car.

“We had a much more positive day today,” Russell confirmed. “We took a step forward and made progress with the issues we faced yesterday.

“I believe we have improved the car over the course of testing and got the W14 in a much better window today. There is still plenty of work to do but we’re in better shape for next week with more to come.”

The team’s trackside engineering director Andrew Shovlin said “a fair bit of work took place overnight to find some refinements to the car specification and recover our direction on the set-up.” He said the third day of running had put the team back on the right course with its car.

“We do seem to have made progress,” he said. “Both drivers felt the car was in a much better place across the range of conditions today and the balance is closer to what they require on single lap and long run.

“It’s clear that we still have work to do on car pace but today has given us a much more coherent picture of where we need to focus our efforts. We’ll be using the time ahead of next weekend to go through the data we’ve collected, and aim to extract a bit more lap time.”

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