Saturday, 18 November, 2017

Stevenage's Lewis Hamilton in pre-season testing in Barcelona

Watch the new Mercedes W08 on track at Silverstone and hear Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas' verdict on their 2017 challenger Mercedes to test 'shark fin' in Barcelona
Sammy Stanley | 28 February, 2017, 00:29

Triple world champion Lewis Hamilton is expecting to feel the pain, no matter how much he has worked out over the winter break, when Formula One's first pre-season test starts on Monday.

Mercedes will add a "shark fin" to their newly-launched 2017 auto for the forthcoming official testing in Barcelona.

The Briton - who was only in the auto for the afternoon session as he shared driving duties with new teammate Valtteri Bottas - set his time on soft tires and added 73 laps to the overall Mercedes tally of 152.

The new cars, wider and with bigger front and rear tyres, are expected to be several seconds a lap quicker than last year's once the racing starts in Australia on March 26.

Teams are trying out their cars after a rulebook overhaul produced new aerodynamic and tire regulations. I like the stability especially in the high-speed corners. "We did lots of laps and collected loads of information, so we can try to improve the vehicle as we move forward". "We're doing long runs, and always checking something for each run so it was very valuable for me and for the team".

Fernando Alonso suffered an oil system problem which cost him the whole morning session and he managed only a quarter of the laps managed by Mercedes. "For us the main thing is to get the mileage now and if there's any issues to come hopefully we can find them out". A power unit change was required and kept the Spaniard in the garage until 4 p.m. local time, eventually managing to complete 29 laps and set the 10th-fastest time.

"It is fair to say that after the difficulties we had the last three seasons, it's a nice temptation for the media", Alonso said.

Daniel Ricciardo logged 50 laps.

Red Bull, who have hopes of challenging Mercedes this year, blamed problems with a sensor for Daniel Ricciardo managing only five laps in the morning.

"They are very consistent, hard tyres".

Putting a shark-finned W08 through its pace on Monday afternoon, having taken the vehicle from Valtteri Bottas during the lunch break, Hamilton clocked a 1:21.765 to go quickest.

Veteran Brazilian Felipe Massa was third fastest for Williams, with 103 laps under his belt.

"The lap time we don't really care about - we are doing the lap count and mileage", said the Finn, who completed 79 laps in the morning before handing over to Hamilton.


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