Hamilton just ‘ticking items off the list’

Lewis Hamilton was out in full force yesterday afternoon, raking in the laps with the new Mercedes W08 with a veracious appetite.

While lap times were secondary, the three-time world champion edged out his closest rival, Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel,  by 0.113 seconds.

The Brit’s assessment of both his day and his car was outright positive.

“It’s been a positive day for the team. Lots of laps and lots of information that we’ve gained today,” said Hamilton.

“There’s so much more downforce, which is something we always wanted.

“This is day one, so we’ve not done any work to get the balance perfect. Today is just really about ticking off all the lists, all the checkpoints and getting mileage for reliability.”

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Unsurprisingly, Hamilton said there was no denying the physicality of the 2017 cars.

“I definitely put my body to the test today. These test days are like training. It was good to feel the wider, beefier car. It’s faster, more physical… it’s a beast!

“You’ve got to drive it a bit differently. It’s so much better than last year’s cars. The G-Forces are definitely higher.

“We’re pulling two more G than we’d usually pull around here. There’s so much more downforce, which is something you always want as a driver. You always want to go faster through the corners.”

The Mercedes stalwart also took notice of the more enduring and consistent nature of Pirelli’s new compunds

“The tyres are so hard that they don’t drop off. Most likely we’ll be doing more one-stoppers.

“Normally you get a lot of degradation with these tyres – but these ones don’t degrade. They’re very consistent, and there’s not a big difference between the feeling on the first lap and the last lap.”

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