Mechanics use TAPE to patch up Lewis Hamilton’s car after something flew off during day two of F1 testing in Bahrain… just 24 hours after Toto Wolff backed their Mercedes to take him to an eighth world title
- Mercedes appeared to have minimum concerns on day two of pre-season testing
- However, a piece of the floor of Hamilton’s W14 flew off in the middle of the track
- Toto Wolff claimed Mercedes’ new car is good enough to win the championship
Mercedes mechanics were forced to use tape after a bodywork of Lewis Hamilton’s car came off during Friday’s pre-season testing session.
Preparations were ramped up for next weekend’s season opener in Bahrain and Mercedes appeared to have minimum concerns.
But there might have been some worries when a piece of the floor of the W14 flew off in the middle of the track with Hamilton behind the wheel.
Pit lane reporter Sam Collins assessed the car shortly after Hamilton returned to have it assessed before tape was used as a quick fix.
‘The Mercedes team saws that footage as well and they’ve brought the car back into the garage’, Collins said.
A piece of the floor of the W14 flew off in the middle of track with Hamilton behind the wheel
Mercedes mechanics used tape after a bodywork of Lewis Hamilton’s car came off
Toto Wolff is confident that Mercedes can carry Lewis Hamilton to the world title this year
‘Mercedes mechanics have pored over the car, they’ve found the damage and they’re making the repair underneath the rear floor of the bodywork. The engineers are also changing some of the cooling louvres along the sidepod, where you see that Petronas logo.
‘So I’m not sure it was just a single part that came off the car, I think it might have been multiple bits that came off. They saw it, dived in with their torches and had a good look underneath the body work and went ‘ah yes, we’ve found it’. It’s probably quite a big bit that’s gone missing.
‘Now they’re trying to make that fix and it looks like quite a long process. Lewis Hamilton is still in the car but they’ve jacked it right up to the ceiling so the team can get underneath it, and there are some bottles and rags on the floor which can indicate a fluid leak, though I don’t see any fluid on the floor at the moment.
‘As the action goes on out on track, there’s still a lot of action in the Mercedes garage and there is a lot of tape being applied around the floor. So far from a routine change for the Mercedes team, and a little bit of a lengthy repair for this point in testing. It’s going to set their programme back a little bit.’
Friday’s setback comes just a day after Toto Wolff claimed Mercedes’ new car is good enough to win the championship this year.
‘You need to provide a good car for a driver who has the ambition to win races and championships, and we have that,’ said Wolff, saying the mood was ‘very different today’ from 12 months ago.
‘We have a solid base and will try to optimise the car, which we have not done yet. Today has been about finding if there are any areas that could be a real hindrance, such as bouncing.’
Hamilton completed 72 laps, with only Logan Sargeant and Yuki Tsunoda managing more in the morning session.
Hamilton completed 72 laps, with only Logan Sargeant and Yuki Tsunoda managing more
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