After encountering several problems in testing Lewis Hamilton says Mercedes is still “trying to understand the car”, so there’s “no point in getting worried just yet”.
Mercedes’ pre-season testing didn’t get off to a good start. First a gearbox issue prevented Valtteri Bottas from doing any useful running in the morning session of day 1, and on day 2 Lewis Hamilton spun and ended up in the gravel trap, which lost Mercedes an additional hour of testing.
With pre-season testing this year lasting only three days, Lewis was asked how close Mercedes is to getting worried about the time lost.
“It’s day two of testing, we’re just focused on doing our job, so nowhere near at the moment,” Hamilton said before Valtteri Bottas took to the track for the afternoon session.
“I think we’re just focusing on trying to understand the car. There’s no point in getting worried just yet.
“Everyone is focusing on their programmes, and that is what we’re doing.”
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The Briton went on to explain how he lost control of the car in Turn 13.
“Today the wind I think did a 180, so the track is a lot different today. Some places you can push where you couldn’t yesterday, and it’s very gusty, as I found out into Turn 13.
“So the rear doesn’t feel particularly great with this new regulation change, but we’re trying to find the sweet spot.”
Hamilton was also asked how useful has testing been to pinpoint areas of the W12 that can be improved.
“Compared to the past, it’s not been particularly useful. We’ve done what, 60 laps? Something like that.
“And Valtteri I think is about to go and do his first laps, so it’s not a lot compared to other test days we’d normally have, but we’re trying to be as efficient as we can be.
“We have less mileage than some of the others, like the Red Bulls, so far.
“We’re just trying to stick to our programme and manage the amount of laps that we have also, and try to be as efficient as we can,” concluded the seven-time champion.
Ultimately Bottas managed to top the afternoon session of day 2.