MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS kicked off the first pre-season test of the 2016 season today at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, with Lewis Hamilton at the wheel of the Mercedes-Benz F1 W07 Hybrid.
- Lewis emerged for his first run as the track opened at 09:00, completing 66 laps before the hour-long lunch break at 13:00 and a further 90 laps before the flag dropped at 18:00
- Today’s programme focused on accumulating mileage with the new F1 W07 Hybrid, including setup evaluation and assessment of the 2016 Pirelli tyres
- Mercedes-Benz Power Units today completed a total of 1,620 km.
- Mercedes-Benz Junior Driver Pascal Wehrlein made his track debut with Manor Racing today, completing 54 laps (251 km)
- Nico Rosberg will take the wheel of the F1 W07 Hybrid tomorrow for the second day of pre-season testing in Barcelona
It’s good to be back. It really had felt like a while – but now it feels like home already. I’m glad to see I can still drive! The car has been great so far. It’s very similar to last year’s – which is a good thing, as it gives us a great foundation to work from. The key is to get as much mileage as possible in the short time we now have for testing and we’ve made a fantastic start. The team has done an incredible job to get the car running the way it has – completing so many laps with no real problems. That’s seriously impressive on the first day, so fingers crossed it continues. The tyres feel a little different and we’ll work to understand them better in the coming days. Barcelona is one of the best circuits to test a new car, too. It’s got a wide range of corners and the weather’s always good, so overall it’s been the perfect way to kick off the year. Of course, it’s still early days. It’s hard to say how the others look at this point and we won’t know how competitive we are until everyone really starts pushing. But we’re not looking too bad, that’s for sure. Every season you have to assume is going to be the toughest competition yet, so that’s how I’m approaching it. I hope the Ferraris are up there with me and Nico this year, as that would be exciting for the fans and exciting for me too.