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Mercedes break down on day 2 of pre-season test

George Russell ground to a halt during the afternoon session in Bahrain

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The Mercedes of George Russell broke down during the second day of Formula 1’s pre-season test at the Bahrain International Circuit.

Mechanics come to rescue the stricken W14. (Image Credit: DAZN.)

After promising signs for the (not-so) Silver Arrows in the early parts of this week’s testing, Mercedes suffered a blow as Russell’s car stopped out on track.

The W14 ground to a halt and was stuck in fourth gear after Russell had exited Turn 10, leaving the Briton waiting at the side of the track to be picked up. Russell later told Sky Sports that the problems started around Turn Four.

Covers were meticulously placed over the Mercedes before it was loaded up onto a recovery truck, with the team of course desperate to keep their secrets very much to themselves at this early stage of the season.

A blip or something more serious?

The German marque had been showing cautious optimism after day one of testing. Team Principal Toto Wolff said there were no signs of the troublesome ‘porpoising’ that was so prevalent this time last year, whilst Russell himself had said they only had the “good problem” to fix of “struggling a little bit with the balance”.

This, however, could present a bigger problem. Eagle-eyed viewers spotted that Russell’s dashboard could be seen displaying the error message ‘HYDRAULIC FAILURE’.

Sky Sports F1’s Anthony Davidson hypothesised it may not be all that serious.

“Could it be just a sensor issue? I haven’t seen any of that tell-tale oil coming out the back of the car, which you will see if there has been an epic failure in the hydraulics.

“A sensor issue would be easier to fix and they’d get back on track quicker. They’d take that.”

The Mercedes was eventually recovered to the garage, allowing the session to restart with just over an hour left on the clock. So perhaps a silver lining for the team in that they only missed a small amount of time.

However, in what is already a limited test, every second counts for every team and Mercedes fans may be watching a little more apprehensively when Lewis Hamilton gets back in the car tomorrow morning.

Headline Image Credit: Getty Images.

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