World champion Lewis Hamilton is satisfied with the last day of the first test in Barcelona and the feeling he has for the new Mercedes W09, which he described as the ‘older sister’ of last year’s W08.
Hamilton didn’t drive many laps in first three day of 2018 F1 testing in Barcelona as he stepped aside on day two for team mate Bottas to save precious time for the team which would be lost with driver change.
But Hamilton managed to drive 69 laps on final day and set an alarmingly good time on a medium Pirellis, 1:19.333, which is the best time of this year’s testing.
“Today has been positive, I’m so happy that I could get in the car and I’m really excited that I could get some running in,” said Hamilton.
“It’s been the first time today that I’ve really been out to learn a lot more about the car and its characteristics. I got to see what she’s like and stretch her legs a little bit..”
“Driving a new car is like trying to crack a new code: you have to figure out which different techniques you need to get the most out of it. But the W09 feels like last year’s big sister..”
“Out on track, the Pirelli tyres have been very hard to get working in these unusually cold conditions but they feel pretty good once they are up to temperature. Of course we’ve got things to learn and things to improve on balance-wise but overall my feeling is positive.”
“I’m really looking forward to next week and to getting back in and learning more.”
Bottas – Next week we will find out how quick W09 really is
Valtteri Bottas was driving in the morning of the last day when conditions were wet, and around noon the track was dry, so he drove several laps on dry tires.
“We later did a cross-over, changing from Inters to slicks tyres in a pit stops. That was very useful for the strategy team, but also for us as the drivers, as you learn a lot when you try to find the grip on the slicks and feel how the car behaves,” said Bottas.
“So it turned out to be quite a useful morning despite the wet conditions. I did 60 laps which is what we had targeted. It would have been nice to drive a little more in the dry, but I think we made the most out of these conditions.”
“The first week of testing was a tricky start for all the teams, but I think we managed to make the most out of it.”
“I’m looking forward to next week, hopefully we will come back to normal Barcelona conditions. I’m excited to keep learning about the W09 and maybe next week we will find out how quick it really is.”