The Mercedes AMG PETRONAS F1 Team had both of their drivers Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas in action on the opening day of the second winter test at the Barcelona Circuit Du Catalunya in Spain on Tuesday. Hamilton and Bottas completed 135 laps over the course of the day.
Hamilton completed 49 laps in the morning ending the day with the fourth fastest time of the day, a 01:20.456s and speaking following his time in the W08 he commented saying:
I didn’t get a massive amount of laps in this morning but the car was feeling similar to last week. 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.
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. 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.
Valtteri Bottas drove the car in the afternoon completing 86 laps with the fifth fastest time of the day, a 01:20.924s and speaking following the day of action, Bottas commented by saying:
We managed to complete more mileage – more than 80 laps in four hours – which is good. We’re still focusing on the long runs and doing setup changes and learning about the car, so it was a valuable day.
We haven’t quite got to the point where we want to be yet. There’s always work to do with the car and we’re evaluating all the upgrades – what’s good and what’s not good – and seeing in what areas we still need to improve.
We’re not looking at lap times right now, but we can beat the 1:19:705 we set last week if we want to, it’s definitely possible.
I think Ferrari are looking very good – they seem to be consistent and fast. We shouldn’t underestimate them or Red Bull. We’ll need to keep working hard to be in the best shape possible for Melbourne.