With no wet tyres at its disposal, Mercedes has conceded it lost over half its track time with Lewis Hamilton on the opening day of the Bahrain Formula 1 test.

Mercedes had targeted trialling a number of test items on the W10, assessing different cooling methods and collecting key aerodynamics data but lost almost five hours of track time due to rain hitting the Sakhir International Circuit with the team having no wet or intermediate tyres available.

While every F1 team arrived at the Bahrain test with no wet tyres, having needed to select its tyre options last December, Mercedes chief engineer Andrew Shovlin says the day wasn’t lost to the weather having seen Hamilton notch up 77 laps – the most of any driver on the day.

“The rain was a bit of a surprise,” Shovlin said. “It wasn’t forecast but ended up costing us four or five hours of our programme.

“We selected the tyres for this test back in December and not expecting rain, we chose only dry tyres. So, once the track was properly wet we didn’t have any option but to wait for it to dry again.

“However, it’s not been a wasted day, we got through a few aero items in the morning and have managed to collect useful data on some development items. We’re going to reorganise our plans a bit for tomorrow, we’re not going to manage to get everything done that we hoped but with decent weather we should be able to cover most of it.”

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“We were driving on the same track we drove all weekend, but due to the conditions we faced completely different obstacles today,” Hamilton added.

“Both the temperatures and the wind were different to what we experienced last week, which is why this is actually quite a cool track to drive as it brought some variation.”

Williams driver George Russell steps in for testing duty for Mercedes on the concluding day of the Bahrain test. The British driver qualifies as a young driver for the team given he has contested just two F1 Grand Prix, meeting the quota required by F1 rules.

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