Lewis Hamilton laps it up in F1 2017 pre-season testing in Spain

PUBLISHED: 09:35 02 March 2017 | UPDATED: 16:31 03 March 2017

Lewis Hamilton at the first pre-season test in Barcelona [Picture: Steve Etherington]

Lewis Hamilton at the first pre-season test in Barcelona [Picture: Steve Etherington]

Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd.

Lewis Hamilton completed his first race simulation on the third day of Formula One pre-season testing in Barcelona as the Mercedes team racked up the mileage.

The 32-year-old Silver Arrow F1 driver from Hertfordshire completed 95 laps of the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya yesterday afternoon as 2017 pre-season testing continued in Spain with Valtteri Bottas and Hamilton taking turns at the wheel of the new Mercedes F1 W08 EQ Power+.

The Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport pair completed a total of 170 laps of the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya on Wednesday.

Bottas emerged for his first run as the track opened at 9am, completing 75 laps before the hour-long lunch break at 1pm.

Hamilton took over in the cockpit for the afternoon session, completing 95 laps before the pit lane closed at 6pm.

The Stevenage-born racer said: “It’s been a great test so far for the team.

“Everyone at the factory has worked so hard to build a car that goes the distance.

“As always on these test days we’re trying to get through as much as possible, in terms of reliability.

“The main thing is I got my first race run done today with no problems at all.

“Everything’s worked well, which I’m happy about.

“The car is running smoothly and we’re just running through setup items to tick off boxes at this stage.”

While Bottas topped the timesheets on Wednesday, Hamilton was down in seventh spot.

However, Hamilton said: “This is testing, so on the first week you never chase times.

“When you bring out a new car you don’t have all of the components to be able to switch and make changes and work through everything you want to do – that’s something that filters through over the days.

“Next week we should have a better opportunity to dial in the car, but for now we’re focusing on mileage.”

As for his new team-mate, Hamilton added: “Valtteri is doing a great job so far.

“His feedback seems solid, he’s working great with the team and transitioning in smoothly.”

Bottas kicked off Wednesday’s programme with aero data collection, moving on to analysis of the softer tyre compounds and setup work in preparation for Melbourne.

In the afternoon session, Hamilton completed his first race simulation of 2017 before rounding off the day with further aero setup tests and pit stop practice.

Bottas said: “I think it was another good session. We completed lots of mileage and the entire programme that we’d planned to do – including some long and short runs, collecting information on the different tyre compounds.

“We did some aero work to start with in the morning when the conditions were cold, then moved onto testing different settings on the car.

“It was a pretty straightforward day again, so I think everyone has done a great job so far.

“The car is running well and it’s feeling better and better.”

The Finnish racing driver added: “It was definitely easier without the windy conditions and I was able to experience the new car a bit more.”

Hamilton takes the wheel of the W08 this morning, with Bottas behind the wheel in the afternoon on the fourth day of pre-season testing in Barcelona.

F1: Pre-Season Testing

2017 Pre-Season Test 1, Day 3

1 Valtteri Bottas (77) Mercedes – 1:19.705

2 Sebastian Vettel (5) Ferrari – 1:19.952

3 Daniel Ricciardo (3) Red Bull – 1:21.153

4 Jolyon Palmer (30) Renault – 1:21.396

5 Nico Hülkenberg (27) Renault – 1:21.791

6 Marcus Ericsson (9) Sauber – 1:21.824

7 Lewis Hamilton (44) Mercedes – 1:22.090

8 Romain Grosjean (8) Haas – 1:22.118

9 Lance Stroll (18) Williams – 1:22.351

10 Fernando Alonso (14) McLaren – 1:22.598

11 Carlos Sainz (55) Toro Rosso – 1:23.540

12 Alfonso Celis (34) Force India – 1:23.568

13 Daniil Kvyat (26) Toro Rosso – 1:23.952

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