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2020 Pre-Season Test I, Day 1

2020  Pre-Season Test I, Day 1
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Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team completes 173 laps on the first day of pre-season testing

Date:                            Wednesday, 19 February 2020

Driver:                          Valtteri Bottas (AM), Lewis Hamilton (PM)

Circuit:                         Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya

Circuit Length:              4.655 km

Laps Completed:          Valtteri 79, Lewis 94, Total 173

Distance Covered:        Valtteri 368 km, Lewis 438 km, Total 805 km

Best Lap Time:              Valtteri 1:17.313, Lewis 1:16.976

The Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team completed a busy programme on the first day of 2020 pre-season testing, gathering valuable data and accumulating over 800 kilometres at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya with both Valtteri and Lewis driving the new car today.

  • Valtteri was the first behind the wheel in the morning session, focussing on gathering aerodynamic data and collecting information on how the new car reacts to certain set-up changes
  • Lewis drove the new car in the afternoon session, collecting more aerodynamic data and running a number of systems tests
  • Today’s programme focused on aerodynamic validation checks, reliability tests and confirming tyre behaviours in different temperatures
  • Mercedes-Benz Power Units completed a total of 1,950 km today
  • Rights-free imagery of the day is available on our media site
  • To download all available imagery from today with just one click, please use the following link (please note that imagery will download in a zip folder): Image selection
  • Tomorrow, Lewis will be behind the wheel of the Mercedes-AMG F1 W11 EQ Performance in the morning session with Valtteri taking over in the afternoon session

Valtteri Bottas

I’m very impressed that we could start at 9am, going straight out and doing some longer runs without any issues and really execute our plan for the morning perfectly. We could get everything done which is just impressive considering how much work goes into our cars. In the morning when it was still relatively cold, we focused mostly on aero tests with rakes on the car. Later on we did some work on set-up changes – bigger changes than we would normally do on a race weekend when it’s more about fine-tuning. In testing you have the chance to do that and see how the car reacts to those big changes. I had a very good feeling, the car feels good and fast, but I’m sure we can make it a lot faster. It’s been a really nice starting point, but it’s early days, so it doesn’t mean a whole lot.

Lewis Hamilton

It’s been a good day and a really good start for all of us, considering we had a long break. So to come back and clock in over 170 laps just shows how hard everyone has been working over the winter. We will just take it one step at a time, getting good feedback from the car. We have a lot of data to download and analyse and we’ve got to keep pushing on. A huge thank you to everyone back in Brackley and Brixworth for the incredible effort that’s gone in over the winter to make sure we come here and have a car that’s reliable to start with so we can get this mileage done. I hope everyone back at the factory is happy with how the day went and we’re just going to keep churning out as many miles as possible.

James Allison

That was a very positive start to our winter testing campaign, with both drivers able to get a very decent amount of work done through the day. We were able to tick several of the procedural items off our list that we need to get done before Melbourne and also run through some of the main set-up items on suspension settings today. We’re happy that alongside the good reliability we’ve shown today, both drivers have reported the car to have sweet handling characteristics and are looking forward to leaning on it a bit harder over the next several days of testing.

Featured today: What impact does the shortened pre-season test have for the teams?

For the 2020 season, F1 has reduced pre-season testing from eight days to six. While six days might still sound like plenty – especially if you see cars putting in lap after lap without any obvious reliability issues – bear in mind that track running is limited to eight hours a day, four in the morning, four in the afternoon after a one-hour lunch break. So, teams effectively have only 48 hours on-track to test their cars. That’s not a whole lot, considering that our F1 car consists of over 10,000 parts, the vast majority of which have been changed and upgraded for the new season. Making sure that all systems work as intended while also building an understanding of how to extract the maximum performance from the new car makes for very long days at the track and is the reason that the lights in the garage aren’t switched off for testing. There’s always more work to do, which is why F1 teams work with a special night shift crew during pre-season tests to maximise the work that can be done in Barcelona. But the shortened pre-season test doesn’t just impact the programme of the team at the track, it also has a massive influence on the work the team has done at the factories over the past weeks and months. In order to make sure that the test in Barcelona runs as smoothly as possible, both Brixworth and Brackley have put in a lot of effort to try and test every single system of the car to reduce reliability risks as much as possible.

Position

Driver

Team

Best Lap Time

Laps Completed

1

Lewis Hamilton (44)

Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team

1:16.976

94

2

Valtteri Bottas (77)

Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team

1:17.313

79

3

Sergio Perez (11)

Racing Point

1:17.375

58

4

Max Verstappen (33)

Red Bull

1:17.516

168

5

Daniil Kvyat (26)

AlphaTauri

1:17.698

116

6

Carlos Sainz (55)

McLaren

1:17.842

161

7

Daniel Ricciardo (3)

Renault

1:17.873

56

8

Esteban Ocon (31)

Renault

1:18.004

62

9

George Russell (63)

Williams

1:18.168

73

10

Lance Stroll (18)

Racing Point

1:18.282

52

11

Charles Leclerc (16)

Ferrari

1:18.289

132

12

Nicholas Latifi (6)

Williams

1:18.382

63

13

Robert Kubica (88)

Alfa Romeo

1:18.386

59

14

Kevin Magnussen (20)

Haas

1:18.466

106

15

Antonio Giovinazzi (99)

Alfa Romeo

1:20.096

79

 

Source: Mercedes-Benz F1

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