F1: Lewis Hamilton racks up the mileage on day one of Barcelona 2016 winter testing
PUBLISHED: 18:54 22 February 2016 | UPDATED: 18:59 22 February 2016
Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton was second fastest on the first day of winter testing in Spain after racking up the most miles.
Pictures of the 2016 Mercedes-Benz F1 W07 Hybrid
It was a productive opening day of pre-season testing for the Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 team at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya in Spain.
Hamilton completed a whopping 156 laps of the track in the new Mercedes-Benz F1 W07 Hybrid Silver Arrow – almost double that of the next best driver.
The 31-year-old motor racer from Hertfordshire covered a total of 726km during the day, with a best lap time of 1m 25.409s.
Sebastian Vettel was the only driver to go faster than Hamilton, the German clocking 1m 24.939s.
However, the Ferrari star only completed 69 laps in total.
No other driver clocked a time under 1m 26s, with Daniel Ricciardo third on the timesheets for Red Bull.
Three-time F1 world champ Hamilton emerged for his first run as the track opened at 9am, completing 66 laps before the hour-long lunch break at 1pm, and a further 90 laps before the flag dropped at 6pm local time.
The Mercedes programme focused on accumulating mileage with the new F1 W07 Hybrid, including setup evaluation and assessment of the 2016 Pirelli tyres.
Afterwards Hamilton declared himself happy.
He said: “It’s good to be back. It really had felt like a while – but now it feels like home already.
“I’m glad to see I can still drive!
“The car has been great so far.”
Barcelona Test One: Day One
1 Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari) 1:24.939 – 69 laps
2 Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) 1:25.409 – 156 laps
3 Daniel Ricciardo (Red Bull) 1:26.044 – 87 laps
4 Valtteri Bottas (Williams) 1:26.091 – 80 laps
5 Alfonso Celis (Force India) 1:26.298 – 58 laps
6 Jenson Button (McLaren) 1:26.735 – 84 laps
7 Carlos Sainz (Toro Rosso) 1:27.180 – 55 laps
8 Marcus Ericsson (Sauber) 1:27.555 – 88 laps
9 Pascal Wehrlein (Manor) 1:28.292 – 54 laps
10 Romain Grosjean (Haas) 1:28.399 – 31 laps
11 Jolyon Palmer (Renault)1:29.356 – 37 laps
As for the F1 W07 Hybrid, he said: “It’s very similar to last year’s , which is a good thing, as it gives us a great foundation to work from.
“The key is to get as much mileage as possible in the short time we now have for testing and we’ve made a fantastic start.
“The team has done an incredible job to get the car running the way it has – completing so many laps with no real problems.
“That’s seriously impressive on the first day, so fingers crossed it continues.”
He added: ”The tyres feel a little different and we’ll work to understand them better in the coming days.
“Barcelona is one of the best circuits to test a new car, too.
“It’s got a wide range of corners and the weather’s always good, so overall it’s been the perfect way to kick off the year.
“Of course, it’s still early days. It’s hard to say how the others look at this point and we won’t know how competitive we are until everyone really starts pushing.
“But we’re not looking too bad, that’s for sure.
“Every season you have to assume is going to be the toughest competition yet, so that’s how I’m approaching it.
“I hope the Ferraris are up there with me and Nico this year, as that would be exciting for the fans and exciting for me, too.”
Nico Rosberg will take the wheel of the F1 W07 Hybrid tomorrow (Tuesday) for the second day of pre-season testing in Barcelona.
Mercedes-Benz Power Units today completed a total of 1,620km.
Mercedes-Benz junior driver Pascal Wehrlein made his track debut with Manor Racing, completing 54 laps (251km).