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
Load comments
Why the lack of "needle" between Red Bull and Ferrari is a mirage Prime

Why the lack of "needle" between Red Bull and Ferrari is a mirage

OPINION: The fight for the 2022 Formula 1 world titles between Red Bull and Ferrari so far features little of the public animosity that developed between the former and Mercedes last year. But that isn’t to say things are full on friendly or won’t get much worse very quickly…

The underdog F1 squad that thrust Senna into the limelight Prime

The underdog F1 squad that thrust Senna into the limelight

The Toleman TG184 was the car that could, according to legend, have given Ayrton Senna his first F1 win but for Alain Prost and Jacky Ickx at Monaco in 1984. That could be stretching the boundaries of the truth a little, but as STUART CODLING explains, the team's greatest legacy was in giving the Brazilian prodigy passed over by bigger outfits an opportunity

Formula 1
May 16, 2022
Why Aston Martin is unlikely to repeat Jaguar’s F1 mistakes Prime

Why Aston Martin is unlikely to repeat Jaguar’s F1 mistakes

Two famous manufacturer teams born out of humble midfield origins, splashing the cash while attempting to rise to the top of F1 in record time. There are clear parallels between Lawrence Stroll’s Aston Martin and the doomed Jaguar Racing project of 22 years ago, but Mark Gallagher believes struggling Aston can avoid a similar fate.

Formula 1
May 15, 2022
How rejuvenated Haas recovered its F1 mojo Prime

How rejuvenated Haas recovered its F1 mojo

US-owned but until recently Russian-backed, Haas seems to have reached a turning point in car performance after three gruesome seasons. And it needs to if it’s to attract fresh investment. Team boss Gunther Steiner tells Oleg Karpov how close Haas came to the abyss.

Formula 1
May 14, 2022
How F1 race leaders have now lost their comfort blanket Prime

How F1 race leaders have now lost their comfort blanket

As Formula 1 teams have settled down in understanding the new generation of cars and the way they need to maximise their performance, fresh lessons have emerged. Jonathan Noble investigates how they have brought with them an all-new kind of grand prix racing

Formula 1
May 12, 2022
Gilles Villeneuve's 10 greatest F1 drives Prime

Gilles Villeneuve's 10 greatest F1 drives

Formula 1 lost one of its brightest stars when Gilles Villeneuve was killed during practice for the 1982 Belgian Grand Prix. Forty years on, Motorsport.com picks out the greatest drives by a Ferrari legend

Formula 1
May 11, 2022
The silver lining of Ferrari’s Miami GP defeat Prime

The silver lining of Ferrari’s Miami GP defeat

OPINION: Much was made of Formula 1’s first Miami Grand Prix – what turned out to be a very ‘marmite’ event for both those in attendance and everyone following on TV. But even as the on-track battle between Red Bull and Ferrari it produced continued the negative run of results for the red team, it contained a glimmer it must hope continues to shine

Formula 1
May 11, 2022
How imperfect Miami offered F1's drivers a unique challenge Prime

How imperfect Miami offered F1's drivers a unique challenge

OPINION: Despite all of the stylistic embellishments festooning Formula 1's inaugural Miami Grand Prix, the Miami International Autodrome offered the drivers a unique challenge and punished driver errors; a stark contrast to the usual cast of modern-day circuits

Formula 1
May 10, 2022