Lewis Hamilton said his early impressions of the new McLaren MP4-26 were positive after turning the first laps in the car on the opening day of F1 testing at Jerez.

Hamilton posted the fifth quickest time on the first day of the Spanish test, which was used to undertake a number of checks on the new car.

After running through the checks in the morning, the Briton was able to try out the new KERS system for the first time in the afternoon and declared himself happy with his first taste of the car McLaren hopes will be a championship contender this year.

"Today was mainly about checking the car - not the most exciting day, but it was important to make sure everything was running okay," he said.

"We didn't do any particularly long runs, and I wasn't too aggressive with the car, but we learned a couple of useful things. The car feels good compared to last year's, which is positive. It feels like a good step over MP4-25."

Jenson Button will sample the car for the first time on Friday.

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