Testing – Mercedes ran extra lighting on Lewis Hamilton’s car during Tuesday’s testing at the Circuit de Catalunya in Spain.
Hamilton was at the wheel of the W09 on Tuesday, and completed 151 laps of the circuit – the most mileage completed by anyone on the day.
His best time of 1:18.543 was enough to put him P6 on the timesheets, with his best time set on the Soft tyres. It was a day spent on focused assessment of aero components and setups, but there was a noticeable addition to the car.
As part of a trial of extra lighting options for wet weather running, Hamilton’s car sported two extra lights mounted on the rear wing. They were fitted to the trailing rear wing endplates and resembled brake lights – apart from them remaining on at all times. The intent is to see whether they are a viable solution for improving visibility for following drivers in low lighting driving conditions.
Andrew Shovlin, engineering director with Mercedes, explained that the day of testing went without a hitch:
“We had a good baseline to work with from the test, so our focus has been further understanding the car and tyres.
“We had a comprehensive aero data collection programme which we got through whilst the track was cold first thing, then got stuck into proper running for the remainder of the day.
“It’s difficult on a race weekend to complete proper tests due to the limited number of tyres, the constantly evolving track and the requirement to get the maximum speed out of the car.
“Here we were able to step through a large programme of setup items, so Lewis has been able to get a good feel for the effect of these changes and hopefully that will help us get the most out of the car at the upcoming races.”
Hamilton, who now has time to relax ahead of Monaco as Valtteri Bottas continues the testing program on Wednesday, said “We got through a large programme and did 151 laps which is a good sign of reliability.”
“It was a good day and a relatively interesting test, I’m glad we did it.”