The first day of testing in Bahrain has left great doubts both inside and outside the garages. There have been several protagonists today, although the crown has gone to the Mercedes team, which has presented a groundbreaking design in its W13 by almost completely removing the pontoons, which has generated great controversy between fans and the members of the teams themselves. Although the idea can make a difference for the season, the truth is that Brackley’s men have not had it easy today, as they have suffered too much from ‘porpoising’, or what is the same, the problem when that the single-seaters are facing due to ground effect, which causes the loss and sudden gain of aerodynamic load in full straight and, therefore, causes a rebound effect that implies a loss of time.
The track engineering director of the German squad, Andrew Shovlin, positively assesses the progress achieved throughout the session, although he calls for caution, since between the problems that almost all the protagonists have had to face and the high degree of performance that each one is hiding, it is almost impossible to make an accurate prediction as to where each car can be found at the moment. At the moment, the times of Lewis Hamilton and George Russell have not been remarkable, so the intention is to take a step forward in the next two days to test their own abilities more precisely.
Andrew Shovlin, Director of Track Engineering at Mercedes:
“Compared to Barcelona, here it was more difficult to get the car well balanced during the lap. We seem to have made some progress throughout the day, but it’s always hard to judge accurately here, as the drop in temperature tends to modify anything you do later. We still have a lot of work to do when it comes to update package validation and we will continue with the data collection program for the next few days, so it’s a bit early to tell if everything is working as expected. Certainly, you have to find more balance between slow and high speed corners, and there is also a bit of overheating of the tyres, so we have a lot to do in the next two days, but we are on a very steep learning curve with the new car and tyres; We will analyze what we have today and we hope to take a step forward for tomorrow”.