• Three days of learning for the Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team in Barcelona

George was out first in the W13 on the final day in Barcelona, covering valuable miles and experimenting with the car set-up to further our understanding of the bouncing issue being experienced with this new generation of car.

The circuit was wetted at lunchtime via tanker, offering Lewis the chance to run the Intermediate tyre before moving to a dry set-up to perform a tyre sweep from the C3 to C5 compounds. Lewis would go on to complete 94 laps, banking solid learning to build on in the official pre-season test in Bahrain in two weeks’ time. 

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Lewis Hamilton

It’s been an interesting few days, it’s not been the easiest or smoothest running – we have some obstacles to overcome. We’d always want more laps but I’m happy with today’s running, I got almost 100 laps in today which for half a day’s running, isn’t too bad. The car is a lot different to drive than in previous years, as are the tyres, but we’re working our way through our programme.  

The whole team have done an amazing job this week, the men and women back at the factory have worked so hard, we’ve got a lot of data to go through from these three days and we’ll just put one foot in front of the other and put in the work. It was good to get a feel for the different tyre compounds but you never know where you are compared to the other teams on the first days of running.           

George Russell

The three days in Barcelona have been incredibly intriguing. I don’t think the lap times are very representative at all, we were top of the timesheets today on the C5 compound which is incredibly strong around Barcelona, but I wouldn’t read much into it. The Ferrari and McLaren look strong and I think we’ve got lots of improvements to make, we’re not fully happy with the balance of the car and the other limitations we have currently. But it is only testing, we’re here to learn and we have made some important experiments this week and have a good idea of the direction we need to go in.

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Andrew Shovlin

We’re pleased with how the week has gone, we planned a very busy programme for the three days and we managed to get through the high priority items, making good progress with the car and power unit. It has taken a huge effort from the team in Brackley and Brixworth to bring the W13 to the track so it’s very satisfying for everyone to see it cover 1800km without significant issues, and to show good promise from a pace point of view. We’ve learnt a huge amount over the last few days and still have a lot of data to go through ahead of Bahrain. The rate of progression is going to be very high for all teams and whilst we look to be in a good place here, we need to be mindful that our competitors may have a lot of performance to come between now and the first race. 

We’ll be working with the drivers on the simulator over the next few days; we’ve still got work to do tuning the balance both for single lap and long run. Bahrain is a very different circuit to a cold Barcelona but hopefully we can make good progress in those areas and build on what has been a promising start to our winter testing programme.