- Second Barcelona Test - Day One
Mercedes W06 feels as good as predecessor - Hamilton
Lewis Hamilton thinks Mercedes is more prepared for the new season than it was this time last winter despite a day of limited running at the start of the third and final test.
Hamilton kicked off Mercedes' schedule on the first day in Barcelona but, despite accumulating laps quickly in the morning, he spent much of the afternoon in the garage before the team confirmed a MGU-K failure had ended its day prematurely. The world champion finished the day with 48 laps to his name but he was in good spirits despite the limited amount of laps.
When asked if he was happy with the day, Hamilton replied: "I am! The team has been amazing. Preparation and the steps we've taken this year is even better than what we did last year. What we learnt from last year we have really applied to this year. There's still things we're learning along the way, and I'm sure in the coming days we will improve. The good thing is we're moving forwards always."
Hamilton was later asked whether the car felt similar to the dominant W05 from last winter, to which he said: "Yes, so that was a positive feeling. It was good to get the tyres working for once."
Despite a day of limited testing Hamilton is glad Mercedes is encountering issues now rather than at the Australian Grand Prix, where his pole position was undone by an early reliability issue last season.
"I don't really see it as being too much of a negative. It's good that you find these things, whatever issue it is, because you can iron them out now and we don't find it in the first race hopefully. Naturally, the more you drive the more you feel more comfortable but to be honest in the 50 laps I did today I was like 'I'm ready to go'.
"I don't think it's dented anything. Of course we have more laps to do. Testing is difficult; if you could have the whole day, and it's sunny and the tyres are working every time and you can go out and do tonnes and tonnes of changes, you can learn things about where you can put the car. Naturally that is what we are missing so I've got one more lap to hopefully have a clean day. To get 150 laps would be great.
"We're doing lots of changes trying to pin-point where I want the car for the first race. Just to have all that knowledge in the bank so when you get to that first race you know the answer to the problems you face. We're down to one day now [of his own running] but I think we'll be fine."