F1: Hamilton ‘brushes away the cobwebs’ in Valencia test
PUBLISHED: 18:15 02 February 2011 | UPDATED: 13:55 04 February 2011
FORMULA 1 star Lewis Hamilton declared himself happy after climbing behind the wheel again in Spain.
The 26-year-old from Herts took over driving duties for Vodafone McLaren Mercedes on day two of the pre-season test session in Valencia.
He completed 83 laps of the Circuit de la Communitat Valenciana Ricardo Tormo, recording the fourth fastest unofficial time of the day.
The former F1 world champion continued the programme started yesterday (Tuesday) by test driver Gary Paffett, namely gathering data and feedback on Pirelli’s 2011 rubber using a modified MP4-25.
Hamilton said: “It felt great to be back in the car. I haven’t been driving for a while, so it felt good to brush away the cobwebs, and I felt at home straight away.
“Even though we were using the 2010 car, we had quite a productive day. We were trying to replicate 2011 downforce levels on the old car – so it wasn’t 100 per cent accurate – but we still got a good understanding of the new Pirellis and covered quite a lot of ground.
“The new tyres are easy to get a feel for; there’s not as much grip on the Pirellis as we had last year; they drop off quite a bit, too, and they’re a little bit harder to control over a longer stint – but it’s the same for everybody.”
Ferrari driver Fernando Alonso was quickest out on track today (Wednesday), ahead of Red Bull’s reigning world champion Sebastian Vettel.
Paul di Resta clocked the third best unofficial time for Force India. Then came Tewin hero Hamilton and Lotus Renault’s Robert Kubica.
Jenson Button winds up the McLaren test programme tomorrow (Thursday) before focus shifts to Friday’s launch of the new MP4-26 in Berlin, Germany, and next week’s Jerez test.
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