No stopping the Silver Arrows as F1 testing kicks off in Barcelona
Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport racked up an impressive 152 trouble-free laps of the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya on Monday, as F1 testing kicked off in Barcelona.
Valtteri: ''You can definitely feel the impact of the new regulations'
New recruit Valtteri Bottas put the all-new F1 W08 EQ Power+ through its paces in the morning, completing 79 laps of the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya and clocking a best time of 1:23.169 before the lunchtime break.
“It was a very good first morning for us,” said the Finn. “We were doing quite a lot of mechanical tests, checking systems, while trying to do mileage. We did 79 laps, more than a race distance, which is very good for the first morning of running. If we are going to face any issues with the car I hope we can face them now. That's why we did more than a race this morning. That was our target.
“The car feels very different to last year. You can definitely feel the impact of the new regulations - the increased loads, the bigger, heavier cars, and more grip. I think they look great. They're great fun to drive and they're fast in the corners too. Racing is still unknown, but so far so good. Physically the cars feel more demanding, but luckily I am well prepared for the season ahead.”
Lewis: 'Today was all about ticking off the list of checkpoints and racking up mileage'
Three-time F1 champion Lewis Hamilton was behind the wheel of the W08 in the afternoon, completing 73 laps and posting the fastest lap of the day, his 1:21.765 on the soft tyre 0.3s quicker than his Spanish Grand Prix pole time from last year.
“It's been a good day, a really positive day for the team,” said Lewis. “The car looks fantastic and it feels great. We did lots of laps and collected loads of information today, so we can try to improve the car as we move forward. We've not done any work to get the balance perfect yet, as today was all about ticking off the list of checkpoints and racking up mileage.
“Over the next few days we'll start to look to improve the car. I still think we're the team to beat - but we have a lot of work ahead of us to do, the same as every single team on the grid. Right now we're just focusing on our own job to do the very best that we can.”
A strong start for the Silver Arrows
Combined, Valtteri and Lewis completed a total of 708km, over two full race distances, of the Spanish circuit, more than any rival team on the first day in Barcelona.
Lewis will take the wheel of the W08 tomorrow morning, with Valtteri assuming driving duties in the afternoon, as pre-season testing continues in Barcelona.
Results: 2017 Pre-Season Test 1, Day 1:
|Position||Driver||Team||Laps Completed||Best Lap Time|
|01||Lewis Hamilton (44)||Mercedes||73||1:21.765|
|02||Sebastian Vettel (5)||Ferrari||128||1:21.878|
|03||Felipe Massa (19)||Williams||103||1:22.076|
|04||Kevin Magnussen (20)||Haas||51||1:22.894|
|05||Daniel Ricciardo (3)||Red Bull||50||1:22.926|
|06||Valtteri Bottas (77)||Mercedes||79||1:23.169|
|07||Sergio Perez (11)||Force India||39||1:23.709|
|08||Carlos Sainz (55)||Toro Rosso||51||1:24.494|
|09||Nico Hülkenberg (27)||Renault||57||1:24.784|
|10||Fernando Alonso (14)||McLaren||29||1:24.852|
|11||Marcus Ericsson (9)||Sauber||72||1:26.841|