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Formula 1

Mercedes completes full shakedown after short post-launch run

by Matt Beer
2 min read

The Mercedes Formula 1 team completed a full ‘filming day’ shakedown with its 2023 car on Silverstone’s National circuit on Thursday, having only done a short ‘demonstration run’ following its launch on Wednesday.

Outside of official tests, teams are only allowed two demonstration events of a maximum distance of 15km (9.3 miles) and two promotional days (normally known as filming days) of 100km (62.1 miles) of running with their current cars each year.

The team did not complete a full promotional event on Wednesday amid suggestions it suffered some minor engine problems, though George Russell said that afternoon that it had no major issues.

It returned to the track on Thursday and did a full 100km of running shared between Russell and Lewis Hamilton, albeit in wet conditions.

Mercedes Amg F1 W14 E Performance Launch Lat Images

Both drivers emphasised that it had been a trouble-free day, with Russell saying “the car ran smoothly” and Hamilton adding “the day has been smooth; we got through a good programme, and we’ve come away with some useful findings”.

They gave little away about their initials feelings about a crucial car for Mercedes as it tries to regain championship-challenging form following its 2022 blip.

“We know pre-season testing in Bahrain will be the first real test of the car,” said Russell.

“Nevertheless, it looks great out on circuit and the feeling from within the car is so far, so good.”

Hamilton said he “generally felt comfortable in the car”.

Mercedes’ trackside engineering director Andrew Shovlin admitted that the run had little in common with the conditions that will be experienced at testing and the season opener.

“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,” he said.

Mercedes Amg F1 W14 E Performance Launch Lat Images

“Bahrain will be very different to a cold, wet Silverstone but everything seems to be working well.”

Nine of the 10 teams have managed shakedown runs in their home countries ahead of pre-season testing beginning at Sakhir next Thursday.

Ferrari used its Fiorano test track, AlphaTauri ran at Misano, Alfa Romeo at Barcelona.

The other seven have either used or will use Silverstone for their running, with McLaren scheduled to complete its shakedown on Friday.

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