Barcelona Testing – Lewis Hamilton had his morning’s work compromised by some floor damage on his new W08 during the opening day of the second test.
With testing resuming at the Catalan Circuit De Catalunya, Mercedes were aiming for impressive mileage to kick off the week. This they managed, racking up 135 laps over the day in the hands of Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton. The Finn covered the greater mileage, but it was Hamilton with the quicker time – some half a second faster during the morning session.
Hamilton eventually finished as fourth fastest man on the day, some 0.7 down on the best time set by Williams’ Felipe Massa.
“I didn’t get a massive amount of laps in this morning but the car was feeling similar to last week.” said Hamilton afterwards. “The track wasn’t feeling great. We’re still just trying to get as much running in as possible, it’s still a work in progress.”
Hinting that the car isn’t yet where he wants it to be, he said that Mercedes are aiming to nail down performance this week: “We’re on target in terms of the laps that we’ve done and the mileage, but we’re always searching for more performance. I think the car will start to come together this week. There’s still bits coming in and we’re improving all the time, but I’m confident by Melbourne we’ll have the best car we can. We’ll have all the upgrade parts, an understanding of the set-up and where we need to put the car to make it fastest.”
Explaining why his morning session had been compromised as he failed to come out on track for the final hour before lunch, he said: “We had some damage to the floor this morning, which is why we stopped early. I sacrificed a little bit of my time to make sure Valtteri’s car was fixed for the afternoon.”
“When we left here last week it looked like Ferrari was our closest rivals, today Red Bull look quick. It’s going to be interesting over the next few days and when we arrive in Australia. The field will be close, that’s for sure.”