F1 2015: Hamilton third fastest in Barcelona winter test

PUBLISHED: 20:17 21 February 2015 | UPDATED: 20:17 21 February 2015

Lewis Hamilton driving in Spain [Picture: Mercedes-Benz]

Lewis Hamilton driving in Spain [Picture: Mercedes-Benz]

Mercedes-Benz

Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton was third fastest on the penultimate day of the second winter test of 2015 at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya in Spain.

The 30-year-old Mercedes F1 driver from Hertfordshire chalked up a century of laps at the wheel of the F1 W06 Hybrid on day three of the Barcelona test.

Pastor Maldonado again set the pace for Lotus, but Hamilton said his team’s focus was on completing laps, not setting fast times.

Today’s Mercedes AMG Petronas schedule consisted of suspension and aerodynamic work. Hamilton emerged for his first run at precisely 9am local time, completing 41 laps before lunch and a further 60 after the break.

He said: “We weren’t looking for a quick lap – just driving round looking at setup changes.

“If the weather had been better we would have had more mileage but we got through everything we wanted to today anyway. All things considered it’s been a great day.”

Hamilton added: “The biggest issue at the moment is actually getting the tyres working properly.

“There’s temperature in them but they just don’t seem to ever be in the operating window. Hopefully when we see warmer temperatures they’ll be better.

“The car itself feels solid and we’ve been good on reliability.

Lewis Hamilton driving in Spain [Picture: Mercedes-Benz]Lewis Hamilton driving in Spain [Picture: Mercedes-Benz]

“There are areas we can improve on - but we’re taking it one step at a time and each step so far has been forwards, not backwards, so it’s been quite positive.”

After suffering from a fever earlier in the week, Hamilton was still under the weather today, as he explained.

“Just like yesterday, there have been better days in terms of how I’m feeling,” said Hamilton.

“I’m definitely not 100 per cent and I’m looking forward to going home tonight and sleeping for the next couple of days!

Barcelona test day three times

1 Pastor Maldonado (Lotus) 1:24.348

2 Max Verstappen (Toro Rosso) 1:24.739

3 Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) 1:26.076

4 Marcus Ericsson (Sauber) 1:26.340

5 Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari)1:26.407

6 Daniil Kvyat (Red Bull) 1:26.589

7 Felipe Massa (Williams) 1:26.912

8 Pascal Wehrlein (Force India) 1:27.333

9 Valtteri Bottas (Williams) 1:27.556

10 Jenson Button (McLaren) 1:29.151

“It was a hard day out there physically – but I’ll make sure I’m better for next week and come back stronger.

“I’m glad I got some good time in the car today with 101 laps.

“The guys here and back at the factory are working incredibly hard to make sure we get as much mileage as we can, so a big thanks to them.”

Hamilton lasted just 10 laps on an eventful opening day of the Barcelona test on Thursday, before being forced to sit out the remainder of the running with a fever.

The F1 W06 Hybrid remained parked until just before lunch as the crew made the necessary adjustments to accommodate reserve driver Pascal Wehrlein.

Pascal completed 47 laps for the Silver Arrows during the afternoon.

Hamilton and Nico Rosberg shared driving duties on Friday.

Rosberg took the wheel in the morning, completing 66 laps. While Nico did not report any issues with his back, he opted to sit out afternoon running as a precautionary measure to ensure 100 per cent fitness for Sunday’s session.

Lewis took over shortly after the lunch break, completing a total of 89 laps, to bring the day’s total to 155.

Afterwards, Hamilton said: “I’ve felt better but I miss driving so I wanted to get in the car. It’s been good to get out there and get some laps in.

“I’m not sure where we stand compared to the others. The first test was just about completing loads of laps and today was the same, so I’ve not really started dialing the car into how I’d like to perfect it.

“Quick laps are for Saturday in qualifying. But it feels good – similar to last year but better. We’re just focused on our own job – getting lots and lots of miles on the car, proving everything out and making the most of the time we have before the season starts.”

Daniel Ricciardo went fastest for Red Bull with a time of 1m 24.574s. Hamilton’s best lap of 1m 24.923s saw him finish fifth on the timesheets.

The top five best times from Friday’s running in Barcelona would have been good enough for pole position at the 2014 Spanish Grand Prix.

Nico Rosberg is scheduled to take the wheel of the Mercedes F1 W06 Hybrid tomorrow (Sunday) for the final day of the test.

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