Welcome at RN365

You are logged in. Benefit directly from all the benefits of your account:

  • Share your thoughts and opinions about F1
  • Win fantastic prizes
  • Get access to our premium content
  • Take advantage of more exclusive benefits

Welcome at RN365

Become part of the largest racing community in the United Kingdom. Create your free account now!

  • Share your thoughts and opinions about F1
  • Win fantastic prizes
  • Get access to our premium content
  • Take advantage of more exclusive benefits
fri 26 mar - sun 28 mar
  • 1 HAM LAP 56
  • 2 VER + 0.745
  • 3 BOT + 37.383
ita
fri 16 apr - sun 18 apr
  • 1 VER LAP 63
  • 2 HAM + 22.000
  • 3 NOR + 23.702
bhr
por
fri 30 apr - sun 02 may
  • 1 HAM LAP 66
  • 2 VER + 29.148
  • 3 BOT + 33.530
ita
esp
fri 07 may - sun 09 may
  • 1 HAM LAP 66
  • 2 VER + 15.841
  • 3 BOT + 26.610
por
mco
thu 20 may - sun 23 may

F1 standings

  • 1 HAM 94
  • 2 VER 80
  • 3 BOT 47
P1 thu 20 may
P2 thu 20 may
P3 sat 22 may
Quali sat 22 may
Race sun 23 may
esp
aze
fri 04 jun - sun 06 jun
Quali sat 05 jun
Race sun 06 jun
mco
fra
fri 18 jun - sun 20 jun
Quali sat 19 jun
Race sun 20 jun
aze
aut
fri 25 jun - sun 27 jun
Quali sat 26 jun
Race sun 27 jun
fra
aut
fri 02 jul - sun 04 jul
Quali sat 03 jul
Race sun 04 jul
aut
gbr
fri 16 jul - sun 18 jul
Quali fri 16 jul
formula.subevent.squali sat 17 jul
Race sun 18 jul
aut
hun
fri 30 jul - sun 01 aug
Quali sat 31 jul
Race sun 01 aug
gbr
bel
fri 27 aug - sun 29 aug
Quali sat 28 aug
Race sun 29 aug
hun
nld
fri 03 sep - sun 05 sep
Quali sat 04 sep
Race sun 05 sep
bel
ita
fri 10 sep - sun 12 sep
Quali sat 11 sep
Race sun 12 sep
nld
rus
fri 24 sep - sun 26 sep
Quali sat 25 sep
Race sun 26 sep
ita
sgp
fri 01 oct - sun 03 oct
Quali sat 02 oct
Race sun 03 oct
rus
jpn
fri 08 oct - sun 10 oct
Quali sat 09 oct
Race sun 10 oct
sgp
usa
fri 22 oct - sun 24 oct
Quali sat 23 oct
Race sun 24 oct
jpn
mex
fri 29 oct - sun 31 oct
Quali sat 30 oct
Race sun 31 oct
usa
bra
fri 05 nov - sun 07 nov
Quali sat 06 nov
Race sun 07 nov
mex
aus
fri 19 nov - sun 21 nov
Quali sat 20 nov
Race sun 21 nov
bra
sau
fri 03 dec - sun 05 dec
Quali sat 04 dec
Race sun 05 dec
aus
are
fri 10 dec - sun 12 dec
Quali sat 11 dec
Race sun 12 dec
sau
Start Monaco GP
Days
Hour
Min.
Sec.
Mercedes

Are Mercedes teasing and testing us once again?

The defending Formula 1 world champions appear to be in trouble after an underwhelming test when they failed to light up the timing sheets during the three days of running in Bahrain.

Analysis
To news overview © Mercedes

Mercedes came away from F1 pre-season testing with scratched heads and are no longer heavy favourites for the 2021 Formula 1 world championship. Whilst Mercedes struggled, Red Bull had a near-perfect test but it would be easy to get drawn into the lack of pace from the W12.

There were no headline times from Mercedes on Sunday when track conditions were most representative of a grippy race track. Worryingly, the car looked like a handful and Lewis Hamilton had two uncharacteristic spins during testing.

Valtteri Bottas fared slightly better but the onboard shots were telling. The car was understeering on the entry and snapping when the drivers touched the throttle pedal.

Remarkably, Mercedes completed the least number of kilometres of all ten teams, just 304 laps compared to Alfa Romeo and AlphaTauri who completed 422 rounds of the Bahrain International Circuit.

Mileage is an area where Mercedes have dominated testing in the past, even if they did not have the ultimate pace. That said, they have won the last seven drivers' and constructors' titles so you can never rule them out. It definitely would not be the first time they have been 'sandbagging' in the turbo-hybrid era.

Only twice have they topped the timing sheets during their title-winning years, in 2015 and 2020. In 2017, Hamilton stated "Ferrari were favourites" after the Italian team topped the timing sheets on all four of Pirelli's then softest compounds.

The Mercedes machine was called a 'diva' four years ago and it could be a similar story with Mercedes in the present day.

Mercedes were beaten fair and square by Ferrari in the season-opener in Australia but after a handful of Grand Prix they started to dial in the car, and bounced back with 12 victories that year to take the title as Ferrari faltered.

Twelve months later, Mercedes appeared to struggle on the softest tyre compounds and were way off the ultimate pace. Whilst 2018 was their most difficult campaign in the turbo-hybrid era, they still emerged in front as they out-developed Ferrari despite starting the year with a minor deficit.

However, they were still on course to win the season-opening race in Melbourne if it was not for a virtual safety car which robbed them of victory.

Pre-season testing results 2018

Position Driver Team Tyre compound Best lap
1 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari Hypersoft 1:17.182
2 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari Hypersoft 1:17.221
3 Fernando Alonso McLaren Hypersoft 1:17.784
4 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull Hypersoft 1:18.047
5 Carlos Sainz Renault Hypersoft 1:18.092
6 Kevin Magnussen Haas Supersoft 1:18.360
7 Pierre Gasly Toro Rosso Hypersoft 1:18.363
8 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes Ultrasoft 1.18.400
9 Romain Grosjean Haas Ultrasoft 1:18.412
10 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes Ultrasoft 1:18.560

The most famous case of 'sandbagging' came in 2019 when Ferrari dominated pre-season testing with Mercedes struggling. Some thought Mercedes would be over a second behind their rivals but the Silver Arrows went on to win the first eight races including five consecutive 1-2 finishes.

Mercedes brought an almost brand-new car to the final two days of testing in 2019 whereas Ferrari had been comfortable with their machine for all eight days. Once the new car was up and running, it was back to what many had been used to, another championship-winning car.

The W10 was one of the greatest cars in F1 history but even that took some time to get up to speed.

In a sense, we have seen all of this before. Mercedes director Andrew Shovlin has already put the favourite tag onto Red Bull and Hamilton has said Mercedes are not quick enough.

It's no different to previous years. The only differences are Mercedes were not able to be towards the top of the lap count and the season does not start at Albert Park, it will take place at the same venue where pre-season testing has been, the Bahrain International Circuit on March 28.

Will history repeat itself?

RN365 News dossier Formula 1 pre-season test 2021

Everything you need to know and want to see from the 2021 Formula 1 winter test days in Bahrain.

1 comment

    x