F1: Hamilton impressed with Mercedes' reliability in Jerez test

PUBLISHED: 21:41 04 February 2015 | UPDATED: 21:43 04 February 2015

Lewis Hamilton driving the new Mercedes F1 W06 at Jerez in Spain [Picture: Mercedes-Benz]

Lewis Hamilton driving the new Mercedes F1 W06 at Jerez in Spain [Picture: Mercedes-Benz]

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Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton was third fastest on the final day of the opening test of the 2015 season at Jerez in Spain.

Ferrari once again set the pace on the fourth day of testing at the Circuito de Jerez, with Kimi Räikkönen clocking the fastest lap of the day of 1m 20.841s.

Hamilton, the 30-year-old Mercedes driver from Hertfordshire, was third on the timesheets today (Wednesday) with a best lap of 1m 22.172s in the F1 W06 Hybrid.

The reigning world champion concluded the opening pre-season test with a solid mileage haul in Spain, completing 117 laps and 518km.

Hamilton said: “It’s been pretty amazing this week to see how reliable the car has been and how much mileage we’ve covered.

Lewis Hamilton driving the new Mercedes F1 W06 at Jerez in Spain [Picture: Mercedes-Benz]Lewis Hamilton driving the new Mercedes F1 W06 at Jerez in Spain [Picture: Mercedes-Benz]

“The team here at the track and back at the factories is so enthusiastic and energized which is great to see. We all loved the experience of last year and everyone wants to do it again.

“This is where you prove out the car – looking for as many laps as you can, not searching for fast times.

“It’s been really positive from that perspective and every day here the car has got better as we learn more about it.

“Everyone will keep bringing upgrades through pre-season, so the cars will develop and they will improve and that then carries on through the first race.”

Jerez day four test times

1 Kimi Räikkönen (Ferrari) 1:20.841

2 Marcus Ericsson (Sauber) 1:22.019

3 Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) 1:22.172

4 Max Verstappen (Toro Rosso) 1:22.553

5 Felipe Massa (Williams) 1:23.116

6 Romain Grosjean (Lotus) 1:23.802

7 Daniil Kvyat (Toro Rosso) 1:23.975

8 Jenson Button (McLaren) 1:27.660

The Mercedes AMG Petronas programme today comprised long runs and practice pit stops.

Hamilton emerged for his first run at precisely 9am local time, completing 44 laps before lunch and a further 73 after.

The F1 W06 Hybrid remained parked over lunch as the crew investigated a cooling problem, before returning to the track for the afternoon session.

The Mercedes team will now return to Brackley to prepare for the second pre-season test of 2015 in Barcelona, Spain.

Hamilton said: “I can’t really say much about the performance of the car yet but it doesn’t feel any worse than last year’s, which is a good sign.

“I’m fit and ready to go – 117 laps today felt fairly easy – so I’m already looking forward to getting back to it in Barcelona.”

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