F1 2014: Hamilton third fastest in Jerez test
- Credit: Archant
Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton was third on the pre-season test timesheets in Spain today (Thursday) for the Mercedes team.
The 29-year-old F1 star from Hertfordshire covered more than 270km on the third day of winter running at the Circuito de Jerez in southern Spain.
The Mercedes AMG Petronas team completed good mileage during the morning in the new F1 W05 before a transmission issue curtailed running in the afternoon.
Hamilton’s best time of 1m 23.952s from 62 laps was good enough for third position on the timesheets behind McLaren newcomer Kevin Magnussen and Williams driver Felipe Massa, and second in the lap count behind the combined total of the McLaren Mercedes pairing of Jenson Button and Magnussen.
Hamilton emerged for his first run a matter of minutes after the green flag, completing 45 laps in the morning.
After two runs of medium length during the afternoon, a transmission issue brought the team’s day to an early conclusion after lunch with a total of 62 laps on the board.
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After getting some decent mileage under his belt, 2008 F1 world champion Hamilton said: “At the moment we’re definitely happy.
“We’ve shown the strength within this team through all the hard work that’s gone into getting the car here, bouncing back from the issue on Tuesday and then going out there and following up 97 laps yesterday [Wednesday] with a further 62 today. It’s a huge accomplishment for everyone involved.”
Hamilton added: “Proving reliability at this stage is crucial and every lap is precious, as this is going to be a seriously challenging year for every team.
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“I’m feeling very positive after these tests and every day on track is another step forwards, but there are so many challenges ahead of us in the coming weeks and months that we just have to take those steps one at a time.”
Mercedes technical director Paddy Lowe was glad to see Hamilton behind the wheel, after having his opening day of testing cut short by a high-speed crash.
Lowe said: “It was good to get Lewis back in the car today for his first real opportunity to drive some good laps and explore the performance of the W05.
“We made a relatively strong start to the day and completed two medium length runs before lunch.
“We began running again at around 14:30, completing a couple more runs before a transmission issue brought our day to an early close.
“Nevertheless, we achieved reasonable mileage overall with a total of 62 laps and learned a great deal more about the car.
Nico Rosberg will be in the car tomorrow (Friday) for the fourth and final day of the opening pre-season test at Jerez.
Lowe said: “The target for tomorrow will be to continue making progress in our understanding of the car and put more miles on what is still a very new technical package.”