Bottas: Mercedes W12 F1 has ‘snappy and unforgiving’ rear end

Valtteri Bottas says the rear end of Mercedes’ new Formula 1 car for 2021 is proving to be “quite snappy and unforgiving” through pre-season testing in Bahrain.

Bottas: Mercedes W12 F1 has ‘snappy and unforgiving’ rear end
Listen to this article

Mercedes suffered setbacks on both of the first two days of running in Bahrain, leaving the team at the bottom of the mileage chart heading into the final day.

Bottas was able to set the fastest time of testing so far on Saturday evening, giving Mercedes a boost after a difficult day that saw Lewis Hamilton spin into the gravel and cause a red flag in the morning.

Bottas said that although windy conditions in Bahrain were not making things easy in the car, he could notice the rear end of the W12 was tricky to control at times.

“It's a bit more windy conditions than we've had normally at the race,” Bottas said.

“But still, I would say one of the big issues with the car is the rear end. It’s quite snappy and it's quite unforgiving.

“That topped up with the new tyres, that they feel quite sensitive to the sliding, it's not that easy.

“We are kind of trying to calm the car down a bit and that way trying to get some more pace.”

All teams have been working to reclaim downforce lost over the winter after tighter regulations were introduced for the floor and diffuser designs, making it a key battleground heading into the new season.

Mercedes was notably secretive about the design of its floor for 2021 prior to the start of testing, and also avoided disclosing where it had spent its development tokens on the W12 car.

Bottas lost the majority of his first morning in the car to a gearbox issue on Friday, and will complete his final outing on Sunday morning before handing over to Hamilton in the late session.

The Finn was able to take top spot on Saturday evening after a run on the C5 tyre, but said he wouldn’t be “jumping around and being happy to be first” given it is only testing.

“As always we really just focused on getting through the programme and maximising the learning and not really looking at lap times,” Bottas said.

“We have no idea what others are testing, and what's going [on with] fuel loads and engine modes, so it’s hard to read yet.

“Hopefully, by end of tomorrow we could get a bit of an idea from long runs where we are, but still it's only testing.”

Read Also:

shares
comments

Related video

Hamilton: Red Bull will be "different animal" in 2021
Previous article

Hamilton: Red Bull will be "different animal" in 2021

Next article

Straightline speed no longer a "disadvantage" for Ferrari

Straightline speed no longer a "disadvantage" for Ferrari
How departing F1 boss Brawn views F1’s new rules - and the future Prime

How departing F1 boss Brawn views F1’s new rules - and the future

Multiple-title-winning designer and team boss Ross Brawn is finally leaving Formula 1 after nearly 50 years in motorsport. But he still has plenty of insights on what’s working and what comes next, as he revealed to Motorsport.com in a far-reaching exclusive interview in Abu Dhabi.

Formula 1
Dec 2, 2022
The key F1 management call Ferrari must make to avoid more defeat Prime

The key F1 management call Ferrari must make to avoid more defeat

OPINION: Mattia Binotto’s departure from Ferrari will naturally bring a range of changes across the Formula 1 team. But how the changes shape up and the impact they could have is set to be dictated by a key direction Ferrari’s top dogs will need to pick

Formula 1
Nov 30, 2022
The difference between Mercedes’ stumble and the fall of F1 giants Prime

The difference between Mercedes’ stumble and the fall of F1 giants

OPINION: Mercedes endured its worst season of the hybrid Formula 1 era, but was mercifully spared its first winless campaign in over a decade late on. It has owned up to the mistakes it made which led to its troubled W13. And while its task to return to title-challenging contention is not small, its 2022 season seems more like a blip than the beginning of a downward spiral.

Formula 1
Nov 29, 2022
The physical focus bringing out the best from Esteban Ocon Prime

The physical focus bringing out the best from Esteban Ocon

Esteban Ocon likes to point out he’s the first driver since Lewis Hamilton to emerge from a spell as Fernando Alonso’s teammate with a superior overall points record. While some may disagree, as LUKE SMITH discovered, the 2021 Hungarian GP winner reckons it’s not just luck which has made him France’s pre-eminent Formula 1 driver of the moment…

Formula 1
Nov 28, 2022
How Red Bull's dynamic leader Mateschitz shaped its F1 philosophy Prime

How Red Bull's dynamic leader Mateschitz shaped its F1 philosophy

The death of Dietrich Mateschitz last month has not only deprived Red Bull of its visionary founder, it has shorn Formula 1 of one of its most influential benefactors. Mateschitz himself was famously media-shy, preferring to let the brand do the talking on his behalf. And, while it’s now normal to speak of Red Bull F1 titles and champions made, Mateschitz never assumed it would be easy or even possible – as ANTHONY ROWLINSON discovered during this previously unpublished interview from 2006…

Formula 1
Nov 27, 2022
Can Mercedes break Formula 1's cycle of doom? Prime

Can Mercedes break Formula 1's cycle of doom?

OPINION: Teams that have dominated for long periods throughout Formula 1's history often take years to get back to the top of the tree once they've slipped down. But it remains to be seen whether the same will happen to Mercedes after a challenging 2022 season

Formula 1
Nov 24, 2022
What hurt Perez most in his ill-fated fight for second in Abu Dhabi Prime

What hurt Perez most in his ill-fated fight for second in Abu Dhabi

Arguably the favourite in the battle to finish second-best in 2022's Formula 1 standings, Sergio Perez's two-stop strategy at Abu Dhabi couldn't take him ahead of Charles Leclerc when the music stopped - and several key factors ultimately precluded him from the much-coveted runner-up spot.

Formula 1
Nov 23, 2022
The Abu Dhabi momentum that can propel Leclerc and Ferrari to F1 2023 success Prime

The Abu Dhabi momentum that can propel Leclerc and Ferrari to F1 2023 success

OPINION: Charles Leclerc achieved his target of sealing runner-up in the 2022 world championship with a masterful drive behind Max Verstappen in Abu Dhabi. And that race contained key elements that may help him, and Ferrari, go one better in Formula 1 2023

Formula 1
Nov 22, 2022