Buxton Confirms Mercedes F1 Not Using Bahrain Shakedown for a “Devious Masterplan”

Published 03/16/2021, 6:20 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – Pre-Season Testing – Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain – Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton in action during testing REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed


Mercedes F1 were the only team on the grid who opted against performing a shakedown with their 2021 title challenger, W12. However, interestingly, the Brackley-based outfit decided to have a filming day scheduled for March 16, just two days after pre-season testing. With the Silver Arrows facing multiple problems during the three days of pre-season tests, rumors arose suggesting the filming day to be a bluff.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

There was talk that the team would use this day to test out some new parts that could improve the car. However, F1 presenter Will Buxton has shot these conspiracies down.

Taking to Twitter, Buxton, who himself was a cynic regarding Mercedes’ ‘filming’ day said, “Everything I’m hearing points to this being a legit filming day rather than a shakedown for anything substantial.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

“Tracking vehicles on track filming. Slow laps with Merc Safety Car for promos. Multiple cameras trackside and in pitlane.”

Moreover, Buxton confirmed that the track layout was the one seen in the Sakhir GP last year. This would essentially mean the removal of the mid to high speed turns that Mercedes had a problem contending with during testing in the first place. As such, choosing to run new parts would be pointless.

Buxton believes rival teams can rest easy now that Mercedes are confirmed to be ‘filming’

Looking at the Silver Arrows rather woeful time in the pre-season tests, there would have been a sense of growing confidence and optimism in the rival camps. Especially at Red Bull, considering the Austrian team were flawless the last few days. But news of Mercedes‘ late shakedown would have had them biting their nails. Until Buxton came to their rescue, that is.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Formula One F1. Pre-Season Testing. Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain. Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton in action during testing REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed

He said, “In short then, it’s not all part of some devious masterplan as a few rival teams had feared. It’s a genuine filming day for content capture. The troublesome test run has discovered the “hair in the soup,” as Toto put it. The team has a week to fix it. Game on.”

But rivals like Red Bull can’t afford to rest easy yet. It is possible that the German team were only hiding their actual performance. Only time will tell just how good they’ll be this season and whether fans will actually get to witness a good old-fashioned battle for the title.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

DIVE DEEPER

F1 Testing: Mercedes Give an Epic Response to ‘Sandbagging’ Claims

about 2 months ago

SHARE THIS ARTICLE :

Ronan Carvalho

1015 articles

Ronan Carvalho is senior F1 author for Essentiallysports. Ronan is currently pursuing his Journalism degree from St. Xavier's College.

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT