Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Bahrain, 2014

Mercedes “taking nothing for granted” after testing

2014 F1 season

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Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Bahrain, 2014Mercedes say they are not taking their performance for granted at the start of the season despite their strong showing in pre-season testing.

The team covered more kilometres than any of their rivals with the W05 chassis but experienced gearbox and engine problems on the last two days of testing in Bahrain.

Executive director of business Toto Wolff expects the first race of the year in two weeks’ time to be “a reality check for every team on the grid”.

“We have experienced ups and downs during these pre-season tests, with two challenging days in particular right at the end,” he said.

“The problems we have faced during the last 48 hours would have had a significant impact on a race weekend and reliability is still the biggest obstacle we have to overcome. With that in mind, we will be taking nothing for granted in our preparations for the first race and beyond.”

However Wolff admitted Mercedes have a “very promising platform to work from” as the beginning of the season looms closer.

Executive director of technical Paddy Lowe revealed the team’s gearbox problem was discovered at 4am on the morning of the final day of testing. He said it then “cascaded into a number of other faults and meant we didn’t get out on track until 12:40pm”.

“Great credit to the crew who I know must have been tired after an intense month-long testing programme, but still went the extra mile to get the car turned around before lunch,” he added.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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11 comments on “Mercedes “taking nothing for granted” after testing”

  1. I guess even these issues are somewhat positive, as they are because of having a lot of mileage on the PU and engine.

  2. It does seem that the “power unit” components are much more reliant on each other and more integrated than previous seasons. Therefore if one component “breaks” or “goes slightly wrong” it can have a huge impact for all the other systems. I assume that unlike last year when Red Bull’s KERS failed and they could still run the car….if the ERS goes this year…the car will not go at all?

    So a minor problem with the gearbox or whatever seems to a have a cascade effect across the other power unit systems, creating longer “repair times” and a headache for the mechanics….

    Am I correct in this assumption?

    1. I think you are correct, and I imagine it is going to be hard to keep track of which components have been used and when, as it is likely that they will be swapping whole ERS, ICE, CPUs and gearboxes during weekends just to stay on track.

      1. On second thoughts, I expect the ICE should remain constant, although we have seen some smoke billowing out .

    2. Yes, Ferrari said something similar to your assumptions. These machines are more complex and fixing a problem takes too long. Mechanics will have a very tough season.

  3. They were working on the car at 4am? Geez.

    1. Night shift. Their is someone working on those cars 24/7 during the tests.

  4. Executive director of technical Paddy Lowe revealed the team’s gearbox problem was discovered at 4am on the morning of the final day of testing

    Does anyone know if the mechanics’ working hours will continue to be limited on race weekends with a restriction on the number of “all nighters” they may work or will the rule be amended given the technical complexity of the new formula ?

      1. They are going to need all of it.

  5. When it comes to Melbourne how do teams get the reliability across to the 2nd car? It won’t have the running and work the other ones had

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