Reigning Formula 1 world champion Lewis Hamilton says conditions on the opening day of pre-season testing made it hard to draw any real conclusions from his 2018 Mercedes challenger.

Hamilton ended the first day a low-key sixth in the timesheets and managed just 25 laps around Barcelona's Circuit de Catalunya, having taken over from teammate Valtteri Bottas for an uneventful afternoon session hit by poor weather conditions. 

The Briton, who heads into the new season bidding to win his fifth F1 world championship title, admitted the poor track conditions meant he was unable to complete a representative run.

“It's great to be back in the car after three months off, but unfortunately we didn't get the chance to complete many laps today owing to the bad weather,” Hamilton said. 

“The track was very cold in the afternoon, meaning it was tough to get any sort of heat into the tyres. The tyres weren't really working in these temperatures, so I could not get a real feel for them.”

Despite his lack of running, Hamilton revealed his initial impressions of Mercedes’ W09 were positive. 

“I didn't really get the chance to push in the car and go up to top speeds as the conditions were so bad.

“It's hard for me to say a whole lot about the car because I did not drive it for a long time, but the initial feeling is good.”

Mercedes ended the day just 0.2s off the leading pace set by Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo, with Bottas managing the team’s fastest time of the day as he racked up 58 laps. 

 

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