All eyes on Melbourne as fascinating winter programme comes to a close in Barcelona
Silver Arrows wrap up pre-season testing
Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport ended pre-season on a positive note, as Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas took the W08’s eight day test haul to a massive 1,096 total laps (5,102km) – equivalent to over 16 race distances at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.
Valtteri drove the W08 in the morning, continuing the team’s preparations for the season opener in Australia with 53 laps on his final run before the first race of the 2017 Formula One season proper.
The Finn signed off on Friday with a total 628 laps across the two weeks of testing – the most of any driver – and applauded the efforts of his team-mates at Brackley and Brixworth for the new Silver Arrows’ performance during pre-season.
Valtteri: Thanks to everyone in Brackley and Brixworth
“I got in a reasonable amount of laps on my last morning in the car and leave testing feeling confident and ready to race,” said Valtteri. “I feel that as a team we have been able to improve how we work together, that we have a great spirit and real will to win.
“It's been so nice over these past two weeks to see how we operate as a group, both on and off the race track. Thanks to everyone in Brackley and Brixworth for creating this beautiful package. I hope we can extract the maximum from it straight from the word go in Melbourne.
“We've been testing lots of things, so it's going to take a long time to analyse everything that we've done. I've had a massive learning curve over these eight days and that will continue but I can't wait for the start lights to go out in Melbourne.”
Lewis: We're working together better than ever as a team
Lewis wrapped up the team’s pre-season testing programme in the afternoon with another 54 laps to take his tally in Barcelona to 468.
While the triple World Champion is feeling confident after a solid winter for Silver Arrows, he is expecting a close battle with rivals Ferrari and Red Bull come Melbourne.
“It's been a busy winter for us,” said Lewis. “I don't remember how it was last year but this felt like a good couple of weeks. We're working together better than ever as a team and Valtteri has done great to blend in and do a solid job. We've had our up and down days with the car, learnt a lot from that and made plenty of changes. I'm happy with what we've gained knowledge-wise and feel confident we got everything we needed from this test to go out and fight in Melbourne.
Lewis: The others seem quick
“The others seem quick, so it looks like we have a good battle on our hands. Ferrari have been doing a fantastic job. I think there's more to come from them but their pace here has really been spectacular. I don't know if Red Bull had their full package here. Usually they bring that to the first race but they're definitely still up there and I expect a serious fight with both of those teams. I've never wished to dominate. Of course, I want a car that I can go out and fight for a Championship with - but for the fans it's best when there's multiple teams fighting for it.”
Lewis: John Surtees was a legend of the sport
Lewis paid tribute to compatriot and fellow Formula One World Champion John Surtees, who passed away on Friday at the age of 83.
“I just heard about John Surtees,” he said. “To end the day with that kind of news is very sad. He was a legend of the sport - a lovely guy who did so much. It's a shock to everyone. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family”
The Silver Arrows will be back on track on Friday March 24, as the 2017 Formula One season kicks off with Free Practice in Melbourne.
2017 Pre-Season Test 2, Day 4
|01||Kimi Räikkönen (7)||Ferrari||1:18.634||111|
|02||Max Verstappen (33)||Red Bull||1:19.438||71|
|03||Carlos Sainz (55)||Toro Rosso||1:19.837||132|
|04||Valtteri Bottas (77)||Mercedes||1:19.845||53|
|05||Lewis Hamilton (44)||Mercedes||1:19.850||54|
|06||Nico Hülkenberg (27)||Renault||1:19.885||45|
|07||Sergio Perez (11)||Force India||1:20.116||128|
|08||Jolyon Palmer (30)||Renault||1:20.205||43|
|09||Lance Stroll (18)||Williams||1:20.335||132|
|10||Romain Grosjean (8)||Haas||1:21.110||76|
|11||Fernando Alonso (14)||McLaren||1:21.389||43|
|12||Marcus Ericsson (9)||Sauber||1:21.670||59|
|13||Pascal Wehrlein (94)||Sauber||1:23.527||42|