Mercedes are confident they are in a completely different place with their W14 car compared to last year after they said there was no bouncing during the first day of testing.
Twelve months after a troubled test in Bahrain, where the German powertrain manufacturer experienced a bouncing phenomenon, Mercedes seems to be much happier with the new car.
Although lap times were largely irrelevant as teams focused their initial efforts on understanding their cars early, Mercedes boss Toto Wolff said feedback from George Russell was promising.
“It seems to be balanced in the right way,” Wolff said. “There is no bouncing, which is good news apart from the big bumps at the end of the straight.”
“It’s a good starting point. We’re collecting a lot of data because it was important to connect that after last year and trying different things.”
Asked by the media if there was any bouncing at all, Wolff said: “No, we didn’t see any bouncing.”
“We had a little bit of movement in turn 12. But it’s not even close to the degree we had last year, and at this stage it doesn’t limit the performance,” assures the Austrian.
The pledge, which came after the first stint, comes with Wolff admitting that the team realized very quickly last year how difficult it was to bounce around.
“We knew we were in trouble because the car was just bouncing,” he explained. “We really weren’t able to drive it properly. So this is very different.”
“I think we now have a solid base to work on and try to optimize the car, which we haven’t done yet.”
“It’s really simple to figure out if there are any areas that could be real performance bottlenecks like last year with the bounce? Now, we just have to work on the program.