Mercedes face shield

Bottas: We learned a lot about the new procedures

Mercedes face shield

Tuesday’s testing session was particularly helpful for Mercedes to learn Formula 1’s new bio-safety procedures, says Valtteri Bottas.

Not just a chance to shake the rust off, the Silver Arrows used their day at Silverstone to simulate the conditions they will be working under when racing resumes in Austria on July 5.

Under those conditions, team members are required to wear face masks and other protective equipment, pass regular COVID-19 tests, and practice social distancing, the latter of which means a revised start procedure with only essential personnel allowed on the grid, which Mercedes practised.

“Today I think it was a very helpful day for the team,” Bottas said. “Obviously everyone being out from racing and the garage environment for a long time, and there are many new regulations, and we need to be cautious with different things for health. It was good to practice that.

“I think we learned a lot during the day, how to do things more efficiently and make sure everyone is going to be safe once we eventually start racing.

“I loved to be back in a car, and now I can’t wait for Austria, and to be back racing again very soon.”

Having completed his day in the team’s 2018 car, Bottas will now hand off driving duties to teammate Lewis Hamilton, who will complete his own day of testing on Wednesday.