Mercedes enjoyed a smooth first day of testing with the W14 and are confident that they will begin 2023 with a ‘calmer’ and ‘more stable’ platform than last season’s W13.
The Silver Arrows managed 152 laps as Lewis Hamilton and George Russell split driver duties on day one.
Mercedes’ Trackside Engineering Director, Andrew Shovlin expressed that the W14’s baseline appears ‘much calmer’ and ‘more stable’ compared to its predecessor. However, he insists that the team still has to play catch-up ahead of the opening race in Bahrain in one week’s time.
“We’ve had a solid start to testing,” Shovlin said.
“The car has run faultlessly from start to finish and that has allowed us to complete an ambitious programme for day one. It always takes a few days to understand a new car, but we’ve got a reasonable handle on where we want to improve the balance.
“It was encouraging that it’s a much calmer, more stable platform to work with than the W13.”
Toto Wolff had already claimed that the team has stamped out the porpoising problems that they were plagued by in 2022, and that the opening day of testing is a great contrast to their position 12 months ago.
Hamilton ended the first day of testing 6th fastest while Russell’s morning running saw him sit 9th fastest once the day’s running had concluded.
Mercedes’ focus now shifts towards extracting more performance out of the W14.
“The performance picture is always blurred after the first day so it’s impossible to say where we stand, but we’ve already identified several key areas where we can find some performance,” Shovlin continued.
“We’ll work on the assumption that we’re playing catch up and need to pull out all the stops to find performance ahead of the first race here in one week’s time.
“The next two days are going to be just as packed as today as we’re squeezing every bit of learning we can into the programme. Hopefully the car continues to run like clockwork, and we can make the most of the remaining track time.”
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