Mercedes was the talk of the town for various factors. The most evident being the new challenger devoid of sidepods. The speculation had been intense ever since the Barcelona testing and in turn building to the test in Bahrain. The speculation was that Mercedes had kept their cards close to the chest as they had decided to bring out the basic version of the new challenger and massive overhaul was due between the two testing.
Mercedes definitely didn’t disappoint as turned heads in the paddock with their new and more sleek design. The sidepod less design also has aggressive fins which run along the length of the cockpit which allows Mercedes to fall within the side impact regulations. Although Max Verstappen isn’t a big fan of the new design as he jokingly called it “ugly.”
This new design is reported to give that edge to both George Russell and Lewis Hamilton. Mercedes is rumored to have tested out the new design on the stimulator and the results have brought in a lot of anticipation and excitement in the Mercedes camp.
Find out how the three-day pre-season shakedown played out for Mercedes’ duo of Lewis Hamilton and George Russell with the upgraded W-13 at Bahrain.
Now, coming to how the duo of Lewis Hamilton and George Russell performed.
Struggles faced by Mercedes
On Day 1, Lewis Hamilton was the first one to take the wheel. The world held its breath see how quick the new spec Mercedes is. The response was quite underwhelming as it struggled for raw pace. Lewis Hamilton clearly couldn’t get going on this radically designed W-13. The seven time world champion was able to finish 11th overall with the fastest lap at 1.36.365. Then Mercedes’ new recruit hit the track and the story was no different with him as he finished P9 with the fastest lap at 1.35.941.
Day 2 brought in the expectation of this newly designed challenger to get better. The attention had switched to the performance rather than the design and Lewis Hamilton decided to turn up the heat as far as pace was concerned, finishing P4 as he was pipped by Lance Stroll. Lewis Hamilton did his fastest lap at 1.34.141 but could only do 47 laps. But, it got worse for the Mercedes’ prodigy as he finished P13 with his fastest lap at 1.38.585 more than 5 seconds slower than the pace setter.
Day 3 was also a day with mixed emotions as George Russell performed significantly better than Day 2 but it was drastically worse for Lewis Hamilton. George Russell decided to redeem himself with a stellar drive as he finished P4. The new recruit’s fastest lap was clocked at 1.32.759 and did a grand total of 71 laps. Lewis Hamilton had a nightmare of a day at the office which he would want to forget as soon as possible. He did finished P17 with his fastest lap at 1.36.217 and did a total of 78 laps.
Lewis Hamilton admitted to the struggles faced by him. He said, “The car definitely is different to the last week but I think it’s more so the tyres working with these temperatures, which are different here.”
“But it’s just hurdles that we’re coming across with this new kind of car that everyone’s facing in 2022. I’m confident in the team here, and back at the factory, that we’ll figure it out. But it’s definitely not going to be a smooth road.” As reported by Formula1.
George Russell resonated with his team mate. He said, “Red Bull and Ferrari are a step ahead.”
“I think it just depends how hard you’re pushing the car really, and we’re trying to get every last bit of performance out of it and just trying to test those limits, but at the moment the performance isn’t there.” As reported by crash.net.
The Bahrain testing hasn’t been ideal just like Barcelona testing as it continued to struggle for raw pace. This should be a worrying sign for Mercedes as the first grand prix is just round the corner. We know that Mercedes can bounce back but it should happen sooner rather than later as competitors are on the hunt.