Slideshow: Hamilton impressed with new machine

PUBLISHED: 15:47 11 January 2008 | UPDATED: 21:33 26 October 2009

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Pictures courtesy of www.mclaren.com

FORMULA One ace Lewis Hamilton was impressed with his new McLaren machine in testing yesterday. The 23-year-old motor racing sensation from Herts got behind the wheel of the Vodafone McLaren Mercedes MP4-23 for the first time in Spain on Thursday. Hamilto

Picture courtesy of www.mclaren.com

FORMULA One ace Lewis Hamilton was impressed with his new McLaren machine in testing yesterday.

The 23-year-old motor racing sensation from Herts got behind the wheel of the Vodafone McLaren Mercedes MP4-23 for the first time in Spain on Thursday.

Hamilton, last season's world championship runner-up, left the garage at just after 9am and completed over 456kms and 103 laps of the Jerez track during the course of the day.

The turbo-charged Tewin driver joined his new team-mate, Heikki Kovalainen, at the Spanish circuit for the first of four days of testing over the week.

Finnish driver Heikki also passed the 100-lap mark, clocking up a total of 101.

Hamilton, who celebrated his birthday on Monday, was delighted with how things went.

Speaking after the session, he said: "It was fantastic to get my hands on the MP4-23 this morning in Jerez.

"I saw the completed car for the first time on Monday at the team's launch in Stuttgart and I have been pretty impatient since then.

"My first impressions are encouraging. I covered over 103 laps, which is 456kms.

"Considering this is only the second day the car has been on track, I am pretty happy with that.

"We have a lot of work to do, but now we have a real understanding of where we are starting from."

Following the previous day's opening session, which saw Heikki and test driver Pedro de la Rosa take both MP4-23 chassis for their initial spins, Hamilton and Kovalainen focussed on familiarising themselves with the 2008 challenger.

The pair returned to the track for more testing on today (Friday).

They are due to get behind the wheel for the final two days of the session next Tuesday and Wednesday.

Hamilton added: "I am looking forward to continuing the programme and moving forward."

The first race of the season is the Australian Grand Prix on March 16.

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