MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS continued the third and final pre-season test at the Bahrain International Circuit today, with Nico Rosberg taking the wheel of the F1 W05 for the penultimate day of running in Sakhir this week. Nico’s best time of 1:33.484 from 103 laps put him second on the time sheets.
- Running was delayed during the morning after overnight inspection of high-mileage components led to a precautionary engine change for the F1 W05
- Nico emerged for his first run at 12:00 local time, completing 22 laps in the remaining hour before the lunch break
- A further 81 laps followed in the afternoon as part of a programme including setup evaluation, long runs and qualifying simulations
- Mercedes-Benz Power Units today completed a total of 2,192 km between all teams
- Lewis Hamilton will bring the pre-season programme to a close as he takes the wheel of the F1 W05 for the fourth and final day of the test tomorrow
That was an incredible effort by the team and I’m really happy with our day’s work. The night shift crew recognised a strange sound from the engine while working on it during the night so we had to change it, which took a good few hours and meant we missed out on running for most of the morning. In the end I managed to do over 100 laps, so this was a very useful final day of testing for me and I learned a lot in the process. The only problem was the conditions, with a lot of wind and blowing sand at some corners meaning that suddenly you could have almost no grip which was a bit difficult to manage. Overall I can be really happy about my testing programme, so a big thanks to everyone in the team both here and back at the two factories for the remarkable job they’ve done. As is the case for everybody, we still have a few reliability problems that definitely need to be sorted out before Australia, but in general I think the winter tests have been better than expected. After some work in the simulator next week I will fly to Melbourne on Friday, and I can’t wait to be back in the car again.
We didn’t have the best start to the day. Having discovered an engine problem at 04:00 this morning we weren’t able to get out on track until 12:00, which forced us to alter our schedule quite significantly. However, we ended the session in a great position having exceeded 100 laps in a single day for the first time during pre-season testing this year; a landmark which had proven to be a bit of an obstacle up to that point. After the delayed start it was a relatively trouble-free day. Nico completed setup evaluation work over the course of some fairly long stints, before ending the afternoon with a pair of short runs on the super soft tyre. The team did a great job working through the night to get the car back on track before lunch, and it was good for Nico to round off his pre-season with a good day’s running before he heads to Melbourne. We’ll be targeting the same for Lewis tomorrow.