Mercedes reveal fresh W15 aim in Saudi Arabia after trouble hits in Bahrain

Henry Valantine
Mercedes driver George Russell in Bahrain.

Both Mercedes drivers suffered issues with their power unit during the Bahrain Grand Prix.

Toto Wolff described Mercedes’ performance in Bahrain as “underwhelming”, after a cooling issue on their power unit left performance unused at the weekend.

Both George Russell and Lewis Hamilton were left needing to cool their power unit more than expected in race conditions, which Wolff predicted cost them up to six tenths of a second per lap in Saturday’s race.

Mercedes ‘hopeful’ of bouncing back from ‘underwhelming’ Bahrain performance

Russell and Hamilton were able to cross the line fifth and seventh respectively as Mercedes started the season in Bahrain at the weekend, with Hamilton predicting they were the third-fastest car behind Ferrari and Red Bull in the early standings.

But given they were hindered by the cooling issue that hamstrung their power unit in the race – with the same problem affecting Mercedes customers Williams – setup changes will no doubt take place to address the problem in Jeddah this time around.

Despite that, Mercedes team principal Wolff explained that both drivers had been complimentary about the early performance offered by the W15 and its potential, and they will look to make use of its “true potential” in Saudi Arabia this weekend.

“Our race in Bahrain was best described as underwhelming,” Wolff said.

“We were hopeful of a stronger showing after our performance in practice and qualifying.

“Both drivers were pleased with the balance earlier in the weekend, and the more stable platform provided by the W15. recommends

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“Unfortunately on Saturday evening, our cooling performance didn’t match our predictions. That forced us into management mode early on, which had the knock-on impact of reducing tyre temperatures below optimum.

“That cost us the opportunity to show something closer to our true potential. It was a frustrating way to start the season but one we will learn from.

“We’ve got an opportunity to take a step forward immediately. Jeddah is a street track with a lot of high-speed content.

“It will be good to continue our learning with the new car on a very different circuit to Bahrain. We will be aiming for a more consistent weekend and to understand our true performance relative to the rest of the grid.

“It will also be great to see F1 Academy on the support bill in Saudi Arabia for their opening round. For the first time, we will be involved as a team. We’re excited to watch our junior driver Doriane Pin in action and look forward to supporting the championship across the year.”

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