Tuesday 23 February 2016

Lewis Hamilton Hails Amazing Start To F1 Testing

Lewis Hamilton described the full debut of Mercedes' 2016 car as amazing after he completed the equivalent of two race distances at Barcelona. In a carbon-copy of the world champions' ominous start to testing last year, when the W06 topped 150 laps on its debut, Hamilton clocked 156 around the Circuit de Catalunya as he finished second to Ferrari rival Sebastian Vettel on the timesheet. No other car managed more than 87 laps.

With Mercedes not starting to focus on performance until Tuesday at the earliest, Hamilton said he could never remember such a successful start in his nine-year F1 career. He said “It's been an amazing day, I've never had a Day One practice like today. To get in a new car and have no problems is just a remarkable job by the team. So, for me, it was encouraging. But I tell you - 150 laps is quite long here!”

Monday's running represented the first time Hamilton had taken to the track in an official session since finishing second to team-mate Nico Rosberg in the season-ending Abu Dhabi GP last November. After clinching 2015's world championship with three rounds to spare, Hamilton was beaten in the final three races of the season and voiced concerns that a change on the W06 had adversely affected its handling.

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