2 February 2015
Jerez F1 Test: Hamilton: We weren’t out there trying for fast times
Lewis Hamilton reports that the new Mercedes W06 Hybrid 'feels the same' after completing 91 laps in F1 testing at Jerez.
Lewis Hamilton confirmed that the AMG Mercedes F1 team was focusing on its own pre-season programme rather than trying to set the timesheets alight on day two of the Jerez group test.
The reigning world champion was unable to replicate the 157 laps completed by team-mate Nico Rosberg on day, as a water leak sidelined the W06 Hybrid during through the session, and admitted that there was work to do to get the car to his liking.
"It's the same as last year,” he pointed out, “It's the first day of testing and none of the corners ever feel good the first time you drive the car. It is the worst it will be this year - the balance wasn't perfect because we weren't working on set-up, so it could be better, but there are lots of positives as we got good mileage and we should do tomorrow."
Despite having to watch Rosberg complete nearly twice as many laps without any apparent reliability issues, Hamilton insisted that his 91 tours of the Jerez circuit – more than anyone else managed on day two - represented a satisfying start to the defence of his crown.
"I got in a good amount of laps, I got a good feel for the car, so overall it was good," he confirmed, "It wasn't an exciting day, testing never is - I've been here many, many years and testing is not the exciting part for any racing driver. I like racing, but this is obviously the part you do to build the foundation for a season.”
The Briton, who took himself away from it all to 'come down from cloud nine' over the winter echoed Rosberg's claim that the W06 appeared to have picked up from where its predecessor left off, but said that he wasn't able to put that into the context of a complete season until everyone was following the same programme.
"You can't get too excited just yet because you don't know where everyone stands - the thing to get excited about is the first race, and that's how it is every year," he noted, “[The car] feels pretty much the same. It feels like we've got more downforce, so I think we have taken a step, but how big I can't say. We weren't out there trying to do fast lap times.”
Losing time to the water leak was frustrating, but Hamilton admitted that the team's reliability had already shown good signs.
"It's good we've had such good running over the first two days,” he acknowledged, "We focus on all things but, of course, reliability would massively help, and it's an area last year we could have done better. We were about 80 per cent reliable, whereas we want to be 90 to 95 per cent, so that's something we are working on. As for the water leak, I can't tell you too much about it, but the team will work on it overnight and the car will be fine for tomorrow.”
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