Friday, 20 February 2015

Hamilton back in action for Mercedes

(© Ben Johnston 2015)

The Mercedes AMG PETRONAS F1 Team had an extremely hectic testing programme on Friday as, not only did world champion Lewis Hamilton return following his fever but his team mate Nico Rosberg was also in the car.

Nico Rosberg kicked off the day’s action for the Brackley based outfit at 9AM local time as the team spent the morning working on aero and set-up evaluation. The German completed 66 laps of the Barcelona Circuit de Catalunya and ended the day in 6th place just behind team mate Lewis Hamilton. Rosberg’s fastest time was a 1m 25.556s. Speaking following the session Rosberg said:

'My back has been a bit of an issue but I know what it was. My position in the car was not quite right but I’ve been lucky with it really and it should be fine for a full day on Sunday. I’m just being a bit cautious and decided to get out of the car at lunch today. 

It’s a different circuit with this new car so it felt a bit different, but in general it was ok. I wasn’t so happy with the car this morning but then we found our way quickly with the setup and in the end it felt pretty good. 

At the moment we’re just focusing on getting the miles done and working on setup. Of course, I want to go out and do qualifying laps all the time – but there’s a right time for everything. We don’t know where we are yet but things are going to plan. 

The development curve is still very steep. There’s so much still to discover with these regulations in both the car and the Power Unit, so it’s a big challenge. Overall, though, it’s been a good start.'

World champion Lewis Hamilton took over driving the W06 in the afternoon, completing 89 laps for the team. Hamilton fastest time of the day was a 1m 24.923s as the double world champion finished the day just ahead of Nico Rosberg. Speaking following Friday’s running Hamilton stated:

'I’ve felt better but I miss driving so I wanted to get in the car. It’s been good today to get out there and get some laps in. I’m not sure where we stand compared to the others. 

The first test was just about completing loads of laps and today was the same, so I’ve not really started dialing the car into how I’d like to perfect it. Quick laps are for Saturday in qualifying. 

But it feels good – similar to last year but better. We’re just focused on our own job – getting lots and lots of miles on the car, proving everything out and making the most of the time we have before the season starts. We’ve not been without a few problems here and there but I’ve seen the team working away to iron out any creases and it’s just amazing to watch. As long as we keep moving forwards that’s what matters most and we’re focused on doing that.'

© Ben Johnston 2015

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