Saturday 23 September 2017

Video: Formula One driver caught on camera relieving himself trackside

Nico Rosberg's Mercedes had to return to the garage during testing Photo: GETTY IMAGES
Nico Rosberg's Mercedes had to return to the garage during testing Photo: GETTY IMAGES

The enthusiastic crowds at Formula One pre-season testing were treated to the rare sight of a Mercedes coming to halt this morning – not to mention the team’s chairman, Niki Lauda, relieving himself in a trackside bush.

After 93 laps, Nico Rosberg’s Mercedes was brought back to the pits on a truck but it was Sky Sports inadvertent filming of Lauda which will probably be remembered from this morning’s running in Jerez. Perhaps the three-time champion was ingeniously trying to divert attention from the Mercedes’ mechanical issue.

Despite stopping on track at 12:50, Rosberg had already completed nearly 100 laps, easily double any of his competitors. However, after numerous reliability issues last season, and a water leak for Lewis Hamilton yesterday, Mercedes will hope these are simply the gremlins of a new machine. An “engine shutdown” was how the team described the problem.

Meanwhile, the new McLaren-Honda pairing finally enjoyed some smooth running, leaving the garage at 09:00 on the dot and completing 32 laps in the hands of Fernando Alonso before lunch. Having managed just 12 laps in two days so far, it came as a relief to Alonso, his army of fans here in southern Spain, and the team.

For Red Bull, however, it is proving a case of déjà vu. They famously had an appalling test in 2014, barely making it out of the garage. This year they have fared slightly better but completed just five laps on Tuesday morning before they had to change the engine on Daniel Ricciardo’s car.

Engine supplier Renault have proved an unhappy bedfellow ever since the change to the vastly complicated turbo engines 12 months ago. Progress still seems to be slow.

Ferrari, meanwhile, have had an encouraging start to pre-season. Sebastian Vettel topped the timesheets on the first two days, while Kimi Raikkonen led the way on Wednesday morning. The car seems reliable thus far, but its ultimate performance remains an unknown.

Online Editors

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport