F1

McLaren Mercedes Portimao test notes 2009-01-21

Driver Lewis Hamilton Location Autodromo Internacional do Algarve Track length 4.687km Weather Maximum track temp 30C Maximum ambient temp 13C Laps completed 81 Kilometres covered 380km Best laptime 1m30.242 at 17:15 Programme Lewis...

Driver Lewis Hamilton
Location Autodromo Internacional do Algarve
Track length 4.687km

Weather
Maximum track temp 30C
Maximum ambient temp 13C

Laps completed 81
Kilometres covered 380km
Best laptime 1m30.242 at 17:15

Programme
Lewis returned to the cockpit for his first taste of the 2009 regulations and the team's new MP4-24 car. While the weather was markedly improved over the previous two days, the morning remained damp, requiring the continued use of an '08-spec rear wing and intermediate tyres.

The team was briefly hampered at lunchtime by a precautionary engine systems shutdown, which was quickly rectified without the need to change the unit. In the afternoon, conditions sufficiently improved to allow an '09-spec rear wing and several sets of slicks to be bolted to the car, resulting in Lewis's best time of 1m30.242.

Lewis said: "It was good to be back working with the team - it felt like I'd hardly been away because it was easy to slip back into the routine. It's amazing to think that, while I've been to Woking throughout the winter, I haven't properly driven a Formula 1 car since the Brazilian Grand Prix two months ago, but everything very quickly felt normal today."

"This first test was all about just getting used to the new car and the new regulations and about giving my feedback to the engineers; it wasn't about setting a fast time. I'm pleased to report that the car feels good, we've made lots of progress over the winter and I'm looking forward to developing the car ahead of the Australian Grand Prix."

"It's going to be an extremely busy winter. I've only been in the car for one day and our usual joblist for the weeks ahead is already enormous. With the limitations on testing during the season, and the few sessions we have over the next two months, this is going to be an intense time and absolutely critical for every team."

Driver for day four Heikki Kovalainen
Duration of test Four days (Jan 19-22)

-credit: mclaren

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