Valtteri Bottas managed to drive only one lap before Mercedes discovered a gearbox problem on their new F1 W12 after which they had to replace the gearbox ahead of the resumption of the first day of testing in Bahrain.

Bottas was first in line to test the new Mercedes on the first day of pre-season testing, but managed to drive just one installation lap before entering the pits where Mercedes hid its garage so they could work on the car.

The team confirmed that there was a problem with the gearbox, which bothered them at the beginning of last season, and that they would replace the gearbox before the problematic unit is sent for analysis.

“We have a problem with the gearbox and we will have to replace the gearbox in order to get back on track,” a statement from Mercedes said.

“Then we’ll diagnose the problem with the original gearbox.”

The new F1 W12 will be taken over by seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton this afternoon.

2021 Mercedes F1 W12 Bahrain testing pitlane Photo Mercedes AMG Petronas Twitter
Photo: Mercedes
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