Mercedes fire warning about W14’s reliability during Bahrain testing

Teams will have three days of pre-season testing in Bahrain before the 2023 season gets underway.

With the 2023 season fast approaching, every team on the grid will be looking to utilise every single second of pre-season testing, to give them the best possible chance of starting the season strong.

Ferrari took advantage of this last season, preparing well any flying out of the block at the Bahrain Grand Prix to secure a stunning one-two finish.

Mercedes struggled to compete with Ferrari and Red Bull in 2022, having to overcome a major porpoising issues before they could begin to upgrade the performance of the W13.

With so much time dedicated to stopping the violent bouncing, there were certain issues with the W13 that remained unsolved at the end of the season, leaving Mercedes with the task of fixing their design during the 2023 pre-season.

READ: Mercedes mocked for embarrassing W14 blunder

The Silver Arrows will have three days of testing in Bahrain to get the W14 into the best position possible to secure a strong result in the season opener, but technical director Mike Elliott is worried that the team might need more testing time to fully overcome their problems.

“We never really got on top of the car balance last year,” he said.

“All the normal work we do at the beginning of the season didn’t happen because of the problems we were trying to rectify. With only three days of testing this year, that has two big impacts.

“The first is in reliability – if we are not reliable in the test, then we will have very limited mileage to learn. We also won’t be able to measure the car’s absolute reliability too much, because over three days you are not going to get huge amounts of running.

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“These cars are now so reliable that you need more mileage than three days to really start seeing some of the issues.

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“The second big impact is that we’ve got to use our limited time as efficiently as possible. We’ve got to learn as much as we can, to work out how to get the most performance out of the car and what we can learn to feed into the next developments.”

Mercedes will be hoping that the can start the 2023 season strong and prove to Red Bull and Ferrari that they should be taken seriously.

Lewis Hamilton will be hunting for a record breaking eighth world title this season, with the Brit claiming that he is hungrier than ever to return to winning ways with Mercedes.