Mercedes 'amused' by 'naive' reaction to early 2019 testing pace

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Mercedes admit they were "amused" by the "naive" reaction to their initial slow pace in 2019 testing.

During the first four days of running in Barcelona 12 months ago, Ferrari appeared to have a significant advantage over the field while, in contrast, the Brackley-based squad looked to be struggling as the slowest of the top three teams.

In the second week, however, Mercedes introduced a raft of upgrades which suddenly drew them level with Sebastian Vettel's fastest time by the final day.

But rather than be some remarkable recovery, it has now been confirmed they were doing as many suggested, sandbagging.

"Anything that indicated that we were back to square one, or had to catch up was false information. We never planned to race with the car used in the first week of testing," chief designer John Owen explained recently via Motorsport.

"Additionally, we were surprised that some teams appeared to find motivation in our lack of pace, it surprised me personally quite a lot. It seemed a little naive, considering they could have assumed that the car used wasn't the final version of the W10."

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The media too were quick to jump on the lap times and it was how they reported it which particularly surprised Mercedes.

"We were very amused, we read what people were writing about our aerodynamics, even though we didn't even know what that would look like exactly right up until the first race of the season," he said.

"From the first test week on, we progressed significantly. The fact that allegedly we 'responded' in the second week to our disappointing performance in the first week, was even more amusing to us."

Of course, Mercedes would then unleash their full potential winning 10 of the first 12 races and 15 in total en route to another dominant double championship success.

So let this be a reminder to completely ignore almost everything you see when this year's pre-season kicks off on February 19th!