Mercedes testing at Silverstone with new F1 COVID-19 measures

F1 world champions Mercedes have returned to the track for the first time in 102 days for a two-day test at Silverstone.

In preparation for the start of the season in Austria in July, the team are using two days of running at the British GP venue to get back up to speed and familiarise themselves with the new extensive health and safety protocols which will be in place from the Red Bull Ring.

The first pictures released by the team show mechanics and Bottas wearing masks in the garage before the run, with the engineer operating close to the driver in the car also wearing a face shield.

Team boss Toto Wolff was also present, wearing a mask.

Mercedes confirmed that every team member present tested negative for COVID-19.

“We’re also wearing face masks/shields and practising hand hygiene,” said Mercedes on Twitter. “Face coverings are particularly important for the team as social distancing is not possible for every role in the garage

It's been a long three months… but we're finally BACK ON TRACK!!

??? #DrivenByEachOther pic.twitter.com/SWXS7aGcgF

The new normal ? pic.twitter.com/1qKqfiIJdK

World champion Lewis Hamilton will test on Wednesday.

F1 teams cannot test their current cars during the season but the regulations do allow for sessions with cars of at least two years old, with Mercedes putting the 2018 double-title winning W09 back into service.

The initial 2020 F1 race calendar

F1 cars have not been on track since the final day of winter testing at Barcelona, on February 28.

Teams’ factories are now back open for work on the current 2020 cars after what turned into a nine-week shutdown period ended.

Teams effectively have a month to prepare for the start of the season, which will begin nearly four months later than originally planned.

Ferrari are also expected to run an old car during tests.

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