Hamilton: New Mercedes F1 car "feels different" to last year's

Lewis Hamilton says that the new Mercedes W10 feels "quite a bit different" compared to its 2018 Formula 1 car after the opening day of pre-season testing in Barcelona.

Hamilton: New Mercedes F1 car "feels different" to last year's

After the car was shaken down at a filming day at Silverstone last week, Valtteri Bottas ran 69 laps in this morning’s session on the opening day in Barcelona before Hamilton took over and completed 81 in the afternoon.

The pair finished the day in eighth and ninth respectively, out of the 11 drivers who ran.

“It's good to be back in the car and it’s great to see the car is running as smoothly at it is,” said Hamilton.

“It feels quite a bit different compared to last year and we're now getting to know it, trying to understand the balance and trying to understand the characteristics we're working with.

“It's been a positive first day, we got through our running plan and there’s lots for us to learn about the new car which we will be working on.”

“Since the car is brand new, we immediately found ways to improve the balance and the behaviour,” said Bottas. “And we will continue to work on that in the next days.”

Technical director James Allison confirmed that the team had taken a relaxed approach to laptimes on its first full day with the new car.

“We managed to squeeze quite a lot in to this first day of running,” he said. “Finding out both how the 2019 tyres are working and also learning about the way the car responds to set-up changes. Today was not about absolute pace and we're reasonably pleased with the handling of the car and the way it is behaving.”

Team boss Toto Wolff insisted that Mercedes will not be distracted by quick times set by Sebastian Vettel and Ferrari straight from the off.

“You need to be disciplined,” he said. “We are all keen in looking at lap times, and obviously you want to be quick and on top of the leaderboard in every single session, but it’s not the purpose of the test, it’s go through all the parts that you want to look at and go through what all the data and sensors tell you.

“We don’t know yet how the competitive order is going to be, we feel no sense of entitlement for being top of the pack, and this morning showed you why. The Ferrari looked ultra strong.”

Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes AMG F1 W10, carries a test rig

Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes AMG F1 W10, carries a test rig
1/11

Photo by: Rubio / Motorsport Images

Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes AMG F1 W10, carries a test rig

Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes AMG F1 W10, carries a test rig
2/11

Photo by: Rubio / Motorsport Images

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1 W10.

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1 W10.
3/11

Photo by: Rubio / Motorsport Images

Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes AMG F1 W10, carries a test rig

Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes AMG F1 W10, carries a test rig
4/11

Photo by: Rubio / Motorsport Images

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes-AMG F1 W10 EQ Power+

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes-AMG F1 W10 EQ Power+
5/11

Photo by: Charles Coates / Motorsport Images

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes-AMG F1 W10 EQ Power+

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes-AMG F1 W10 EQ Power+
6/11

Photo by: Charles Coates / Motorsport Images

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes-AMG F1 W10 EQ Power+

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes-AMG F1 W10 EQ Power+
7/11

Photo by: Charles Coates / Motorsport Images

Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes AMG F1 W10, carries a test rig

Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes AMG F1 W10, carries a test rig
8/11

Photo by: Rubio / Motorsport Images

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes-AMG F1 W10 EQ Power+ runs wide

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes-AMG F1 W10 EQ Power+ runs wide
9/11

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes-AMG F1 W10 EQ Power+

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes-AMG F1 W10 EQ Power+
10/11

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes-AMG F1 W10 EQ Power+

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes-AMG F1 W10 EQ Power+
11/11

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

shares
comments
Barcelona F1 test Day 1: Sebastian Vettel and Ferrari set the pace

Previous article

Barcelona F1 test Day 1: Sebastian Vettel and Ferrari set the pace

Next article

F1 set for standard gearboxes as FIA issues tender

F1 set for standard gearboxes as FIA issues tender
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Event Barcelona February testing
Drivers Lewis Hamilton , Valtteri Bottas
Teams Mercedes
Author Adam Cooper
How Brabham’s one-hit wonder was boxed into a corner Prime

How Brabham’s one-hit wonder was boxed into a corner

The Brabham BT46B raced once, won once, then vanished – or did it? STUART CODLING reveals the story of the car which was never actually banned…

The changes Barcelona needs to provide a modern-day F1 spectacle Prime

The changes Barcelona needs to provide a modern-day F1 spectacle

Formula 1’s visits to Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya over recent years have been met with familiar criticisms despite tweaks here and there to the track to improve racing. With the 2021 Spanish Grand Prix largely going the same way, proper solutions need to be followed to achieve F1’s wider targets

Formula 1
May 10, 2021
Spanish Grand Prix Driver Ratings Prime

Spanish Grand Prix Driver Ratings

Often described as Formula 1's laboratory, the Circuit de Catalunya-Barcelona gave the clearest demonstration yet of the pecking order in 2021. And it's the key discrepancies from that order which illuminate who is excelling, and who needs to hit the reset button.

Formula 1
May 10, 2021
How Red Bull's deja vu set Hamilton on the winning path in Spain Prime

How Red Bull's deja vu set Hamilton on the winning path in Spain

An aggressive first corner move from Max Verstappen appeared to have set the Red Bull driver on course for victory in the Spanish Grand Prix. But canny strategy from Mercedes - combined with the absence of Red Bull's number two from the lead group - allowed Lewis Hamilton to pull off a demoralising reversal

Formula 1
May 10, 2021
The Barcelona practice times that prove Red Bull has hidden pace Prime

The Barcelona practice times that prove Red Bull has hidden pace

Lewis Hamilton led the way in Friday practice for the 2021 Spanish Grand Prix, but there was one major encouraging sign for Red Bull. However, making good on that gain will require Max Verstappen to avoid repeating a mistake that left him well down the FP2 order...

Formula 1
May 7, 2021
Why McLaren doesn’t doubt Ricciardo can escape his ‘dark’ place Prime

Why McLaren doesn’t doubt Ricciardo can escape his ‘dark’ place

Three points finishes from as many starts represents a decent opening innings on paper, but Daniel Ricciardo has endured a tough start to his McLaren career - only magnified his teammate's excellent form. Yet both he and the team have good reason to expect a turnaround soon.

Formula 1
May 6, 2021
What needs to “change” for Red Bull is ending Verstappen’s errors Prime

What needs to “change” for Red Bull is ending Verstappen’s errors

OPINION: Going up against the dominant force of Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton was always going to demand the best from Red Bull and Max Verstappen. But after making a couple more errors during the Portuguese Grand Prix, the Dutch driver showed there's a small gap he still needs to close in the 2021 Formula 1 title fight.

Formula 1
May 5, 2021
The "subtle" Red Bull upgrades that kept it in the Portugal F1 mix Prime

The "subtle" Red Bull upgrades that kept it in the Portugal F1 mix

Red Bull's Portuguese Grand Prix fortunes were decidedly second best to Mercedes', but the result skews the potential that the team had at Portimao. With a new set of updates, the team looks good going forward into the rest of 2021's spicy F1 competition

Formula 1
May 3, 2021