Reigning world champions Mercedes racked up the mileage on the opening day of winter testing at the Barcelona Circuit Du Catalunya in Montmelo on Monday.
Lewis Hamilton was behind the wheel of the W07 as the triple world champion completed a total of 156 laps in the new Silver Arrows finishing the day in second place just behind Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel.
Hamilton’s fastest time of the day was a 1m 25.409s with the reigning world champion ending the day just ahead of Red Bull Racing’s Daniel Ricciardo.
Hamilton completed 66 laps this morning and following lunch he completed a further 90 laps with no issues with the car. The team focused on car set up and working on the new Pirelli tyres and speaking following the day of action, Hamilton commented by saying:
It’s good to be back. It really had felt like a while – but now it feels like home already. I’m glad to see I can still drive! The car has been great so far. It’s very similar to last year’s – which is a good thing, as it gives us a great foundation to work from. The key is to get as much mileage as possible in the short time we now have for testing and we’ve made a fantastic start. The team has done an incredible job to get the car running the way it has – completing so many laps with no real problems. That’s seriously impressive on the first day, so fingers crossed it continues. The tyres feel a little different and we’ll work to understand them better in the coming days. Barcelona is one of the best circuits to test a new car, too. It’s got a wide range of corners and the weather’s always good, so overall it’s been the perfect way to kick off the year. Of course, it’s still early days. It’s hard to say how the others look at this point and we won’t know how competitive we are until everyone really starts pushing. But we’re not looking too bad, that’s for sure. Every season you have to assume is going to be the toughest competition yet, so that’s how I’m approaching it. I hope the Ferraris are up there with me and Nico this year, as that would be exciting for the fans and exciting for me too.
Nico Rosberg will get he opportunity to drive the W07 when testing resumes on Tuesday morning.