The Mercedes Formula 1 team is back out on track for the first time since pre-season testing ended and the Covid-19 pandemic put motor sport on hold.
The team is conducting the private test session at Silverstone under restrictions drawn up to prevent the spread of coronavirus as racing returns from its hiatus.
Pictures shared on social media show Valtteri Bottas in a face mask and one team member wearing a visor during what the team described as a protocol test, to help staff adjust to new health and safety procedures before the season begins.
The team described the images as “the new normal”.
Valtteri Bottas is in the car on Tuesday and Lewis Hamilton will follow on Wednesday as both drivers and team look to get a feel for racing after such an extended time away from racing.
It is the first time the drivers will have driven a Formula 1 car since the final day of winter testing on February 28. In accordance with F1 regulations, the team is using its 2018 W09 car ahead of next month’s season-opening double header in Austria.
Teams will operate under strict safety measures…
…including social distancing, isolated travel and thorough testing
Guidelines published by Motorsport UK, the governing body of motor sport in the country, outlines how events will be run during the ongoing pandemic and include a number of preventative measures to ensure racing can resume as safely as possible.
PPE must be worn by teams in compliance with government guidelines, a reduced number of mechanics and team personnel will be permitted to attend events and will have to comply with social distancing regulations. Pit areas will be regularly sanitised and mechanics will be encouraged to not share tools and equipment.