Mercedes kick-started its two-day F1 test at Silverstone with Valtteri Bottas driving the W09 amid strict safety where the team personnel were tested as well.

As the 2020 F1 season nears its start in Austria in July, Mercedes had its first day of private testing at Silverstone on Tuesday with Bottas driving the 2018 W09 car amid strict safety. This was the first time on track for either since the Barcelona pre-season test.

The idea was not only to shake off the cobwebs but also practice the ‘new normal’ with all the safety equipment such as gloves, masks and face shields. Mercedes noted that all the team personnel were tested for COVID-19 and all results were negative.

Throughout the day, Mercedes shared photos and videos from the run, with Toto Wolff also present to overlook the proceedings with wife Susie there too. The team did not reveal the number of laps undertaken but seems to have tried all the three compounds.

“Today was a very helpful day for the team,” said Bottas. “Obviously, with everyone being out from racing and in the garage environment for a long time, there’s many new regulations that we have to cautious with different things or health.

“So we had to practice that and I think we learnt a lot through the day, doing things more efficiently and make sure that everyone is going to be same when we start racing. Obviously, loved to be back in the car and now I can’t wait for Austria to get back racing.”

Hamilton – who also returned to the UK – will be in the car on Wednesday. So far, Mercedes, is the only F1 team to confirm and start their run with Ferrari expected to do the same. McLaren has ruled out testing, while the rest are unlikely to run as well.

But drivers have had time on track with Lando Norris driving a F3 car along with Alexander Albon, while the likes of Kevin Magnussen, Pierre Gasly, Daniil Kvyat, George Russell, Nicholas Latifi and Kimi Raikkonen, have had some kart time, with Charles Leclerc to run on Wednesday.

Photos from Mercedes:

Videos from Mercedes:

Here’s last message from Lewis Hamilton

Here’s video of James Allison answering technical questions

Here’s Rob Thomas in last In Conversation With video

Here’s Toto Wolff on Sebastian Vettel, Lewis Hamilton

Here’s Mercedes apparels up for auction

Here’s Lewis Hamilton in Forbes list