Watch as the Mercedes team return to the track

Jamie Woodhouse
Mercedes return to the track at Silverstone.

Mercedes return to the track at Silverstone.

At long last we have seen real cars racing around a track again as Mercedes rocked up at Silverstone for their own pre-season test.

The official pre-season finished all the way back in February, but since then there has been no running for the teams as the season opener in Austria from July 3-5 approaches.

But the Silver Arrows returned to the track in a private testing session for both Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas at Silverstone.

The W09 was the car of choice for Mercedes. Back in 2018 it took Hamilton to his fifth World Championship and gave Mercedes their fifth Constructors’ title.

Bottas and the crew were rocking those face masks! This will most likely become a familiar sight in the ‘new normal’ Formula 1.

Toto Wolff was on the prowl. There have been plenty of rumours about his future with the team while Formula 1 has been away.

It was fantastic to see and hear a Formula 1 car take to the track once again!

Formula 1 plans to operate in its own “bubble” of isolation, and that will be very important as Mercedes demonstrate here that social distancing can be difficult in the paddock.

Teams will be limited to 80 staff members at events to address this.

That Mercedes engine sounded in mint condition as it roared down the straight at Silverstone.

Bottas returned to the pits and the team will now switch their focus to getting the W09 ready for tomorrow now when Hamilton is set to take over.

Reflecting on his first day back in an F1 car, Bottas said: “Today I think it was a very helpful day for the team.

“Obviously everyone being out from racing and the garage environment for a long time, and there are many new regulations, and we need to be cautious with different things for health. It was good to practice that.

“I think we learned a lot during the day, how to do things more efficiently and make sure everyone is going to be safe once we eventually start racing.

“I loved to be back in a car, and now I can’t wait for Austria, and to be back racing again very soon.”

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