A ‘smooth’ shakedown for Mercedes after the ‘usual niggles’ on demonstration day

Mercedes had a “smooth”, although wet day, at Silverstone on Thursday as George Russell and Lewis Hamilton covered the maximum 100km as Mercedes conducted a shakedown of the new W14.

The team’s 2023 Formula 1 car was unveiled to the world on Wednesday before hitting the track in what has been billed as a demonstration run.

That, however, didn’t go to plan.

According to F1 journalist Chris Medland, the W14 suffered a few of the “usual niggles” on its first day out, which it has been suggested related to the engine, ignition problems and misfiring.

A day later the car was back on the track, Russell behind the wheel of the W14 on Thursday morning. It was a “smooth” and problem-free outing.

“It’s great to get on track with the W14,” said the Briton. “It was very cold and greasy out there, but the car ran smoothly, and we completed all the laps we are permitted to do.

“We know pre-season testing in Bahrain will be the first real test of the car. Nevertheless, it looks great out on circuit and the feeling from within the car is so far, so good.

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Russell handed the car over to his team-mate Hamilton for the afternoon, the seven-time World Champion also putting in his stint without any issues.

Declaring that it was “great to get up and running with the W14”, he added: “It is always a much-anticipated moment for everyone at the factory that has been working so hard; I’m incredibly grateful for all the effort that has gone in.

“The day has been smooth; we got through a good programme, and we’ve come away with some useful findings. I generally felt comfortable in the car and I’m excited to get going in Bahrain.”

Mercedes’ trackside engineering director Andrew Shovlin called it a “solid start” for the team’s new 2023 car.

“We’ve had a solid start to the programme for the W14,” he said. “Conditions weren’t great for filming or running but we completed the permitted 100km without any issues, and both drivers have been able to give us a good assessment of their first impressions of the car.

“Bahrain will be very different to a cold, wet Silverstone but everything seems to be working well. Hopefully we can hit the ground running next week and maximise the three days of pre-season testing that we have.”

Author: editor

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