Mercedes address private test speculation ahead of three-day Barcelona W13 session

Jamie Woodhouse
The Mercedes W15 with its star decal

The Mercedes W15.

Mercedes has moved to quash speculation over the purpose of a recent test involving George Russell, Mick Schumacher and Kimi Antonelli, ahead of a fresh testing session in Barcelona.

Mercedes junior driver Antonelli – a contender to join the team’s line-up for F1 2025 as they search for Lewis Hamilton’s replacement – has been getting his first taste of Formula 1 machinery this year, having tested their 2021 challenger, the W12, at the Red Bull Ring and then the ground-effect W13 at Imola.

Mercedes shut down Silverstone test ‘shootout’ speculation

Antonelli got behind the wheel of the W13 once more at Silverstone, where he was joined by reserve driver Schumacher and Hamilton’s current team-mate Russell for a Testing of Previous Cars outing.

And Mercedes has rubbished speculation which emerged that referred to this test as something of a “shootout” to compare Schumacher and Antonelli, Mercedes making it clear that this was in no way the purpose.

Schumacher and Antonelli will soon be on TPC duties again as they put the W13 through its paces at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.

“Our next TPC (Testing of Previous Car) test will be held in Barcelona next week with Mick and Kimi driving the W13 (2022 car),” a team statement from Mercedes read.

“Perhaps understandably, given these are private tests, there has been a lot of speculation around their purpose and content.

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“Our most recent TPC test in Silverstone included Mick, Kimi and George. It was incorrectly labelled a “shootout”, which was neither the intention nor the findings of the running.

“It’s important to understand that each driver completed different programmes, on different days, in different track and weather conditions.

“Unfortunately, unverified speculation has led to conclusions and comparisons being published that do not reflect what happened.

“Both Mick and Kimi have done an excellent job delivering their respective programmes, to the complete satisfaction of the team, and we are looking forward to three busy days of running next week, too.”

Schumacher has served as Mercedes’ reserve driver since exiting Haas after the 2022 season, while 17-year-old Antonelli is currently contesting his rookie season in Formula 2. He sits P6 in the Drivers’ Championship standings, a trio of P4 finishes his highest so far.

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