• Second Barcelona Test, Day Three

Hamilton tries to temper expectations

ESPN Staff
March 2, 2013 « 'Small things' hamper Red Bull - Webber | Marussia first day 'really positive' for Bianchi »
Lewis Hamilton set his fastest time on Saturday morning, clocking three laps in the 1m20s © Sutton Images
Related Links

Lewis Hamilton has tried to "bring everyone back down to earth" after setting the pace on his final day of pre-season testing.

With dry and sunny conditions finally arriving at the Circuit de Catalunya, Hamilton made the most of the weather to set the fastest time of testing so far with a 1:20.558, leaving him over 0.7s clear of the rest of the field. Hamilton was keen to play down the time saying it doesn't reflect where Mercedes is compared to the rest of the field but admitted the car was an improvement on last year's.

"I don't think it's any need to be impressed or anything," Hamilton said. "I think everyone's doing their own programmes and everyone's on different fuel loads so it's just another testing day for us really.

"I think it's important to bring everyone back down to earth and realise that we've still got a lot of work to do. Mercedes are doing a great job, both in the engine department and also the car; it's obviously a lot better than it was last year."

Hamilton did admit, however, that the upgrade Mercedes had put on the car was delivering the kind of performance the team had hoped for.

"We came through all the tests and got all the programmes we wanted to do done, we got through all the testing certain components. Obviously our upgrade has been positive; it's a small step forward today which was really good for us. The guys are working really hard back at the factory and also here - working really well back in the garage - so really happy on a lot of levels to be honest."

Having completed his pre-season schedule, Hamilton said he was "really pleased" with the progress Mercedes has made throughout the three tests.

"I've been really pleased with it. Obviously the first couple of days were a little bit of a step backwards before we even got out of the starting blocks and to be able to recover that - I think we're one of the top teams now in terms of mileage - and to see the reliability and the improvements, the steps forward we have been making throughout these test days have been a real positive. The atmosphere in the garage is great; it's really good to see different people working and how they work, and they're doing a fantastic job."