Lewis Hamilton has urged Mercedes to keep pushing after an intensive week of testing for the reigning constructors’ champions.
Across the first test, the Mercedes team have refused to be drawn into the battle at the top of the timing screens, frequently setting their best times only on the C2 or C3 tyres.
However, the final day of testing brought a pace increase from the team, with Hamilton and team-mate Valtteri Bottas attempting lower-fuel runs on the C4 and C5 tyres respectively.
Bottas’ time was the slowest of the C5-tyre laps, leading many to conclude that more is to come from the Mercedes W10.
Speaking after the final day of test one, Hamilton said that whilst he felt more comfortable in the car, he has also encouraged the team to “dig deep” to compete against the strong competition.
“It was quite cold in the morning which meant that it was a little bit difficult with the tyres for everyone. In general, the car was feeling better and is coming together,” said Hamilton.
“However, we still have to keep on digging deep, analysing the data and the changes that we are making. The reliability has been really solid which is a great showing of all the hard work that everyone in the factory has done. But we have to keep on pushing, the competition looks very strong.”
Team-mate Bottas was buoyed by the reliability shown by the new car, with the team consistently regsitering over 100 laps per day.
“The first week of testing was really good for us in terms of reliability, we got a lot of mileage in with the new car and didn’t experience any major issues.
“Today we did some shorter runs, seeing how the W10 works when you try to extract a little bit more performance out of it. We’ve been making progress throughout the entire week, the car felt better every single day.”