After a 102-day wait, an F1 car hits the track as Mercedes conducts protocol test
A Formula 1 car has finally hit the track again - ending 102 days of inactivity.
Mercedes has become the first team to return to a circuit, ending what it has described as "a long three months" since the 10 teams completed pre-season testing at Barcelona's Circuit de Catalunya on February 28.
Valtteri Bottas was the man behind the wheel of Mercedes' W09 at Silverstone on Tuesday (June 9), with the team conducting a two-day protocol test.
The test has been designed to not only shake off any cobwebs for Bottas and team-mate Lewis Hamilton - who drives on Wednesday - following such a sustained period of inactivity, but also to ensure all race-team personnel are up to speed on the protocols being implemented in light of the Covid-19 pandemic.
All staff are to wear face masks, including the drivers when they are out of the car without helmets, while attempting to adhere to the two-metre social distancing rules.
Using a car at least two years old, as per the sporting regulations, Ferrari is conducting a test of its own at Fiorano from the week commencing June 22, with both Charles Leclerc and Sebastian Vettel scheduled to drive.
Whatever the circumstances of F1's 'new normal' it is a delight to see an F1 car back on track again.
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