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 test Day 1: The latest F1 2019 tech, straight from pitlane

Previous article

Barcelona test Day 1: The latest F1 2019 tech, straight from pitlane

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
Teams Mercedes
Author Adam Cooper
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.

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
Portuguese Grand Prix driver ratings Prime

Portuguese Grand Prix driver ratings

The 2021 Portuguese GP will for several drivers go down as a weekend of missed opportunities amid imperfect track conditions that caused struggles with tyre warm-up. But the performances of a select few stood out from the crowd

Formula 1
May 3, 2021
The five key tests Hamilton passed to claim Portugal victory Prime

The five key tests Hamilton passed to claim Portugal victory

Just as he did in 2020, Lewis Hamilton had to come from behind to win the 2021 Portuguese Grand Prix. Only this time there were two rivals he had to pass, among the several challenges he had to overcome, on his way to securing a 97th grand prix victory

Formula 1
May 3, 2021
The data that leaves both Red Bull, Mercedes uncertain of supremacy Prime

The data that leaves both Red Bull, Mercedes uncertain of supremacy

Lewis Hamilton topped the crucial FP2 session on Friday as F1 returned to Portugal, but his Mercedes team cannot be sure it has the edge on its Red Bull rivals. As cool temperatures and wind combine with the still-slippery surface to present drivers with quandaries over set-up and tyre warmup, there's still everything to play for come qualifying.

Formula 1
May 1, 2021
How in-form Norris is staking his claim as Britain's next F1 champion Prime

How in-form Norris is staking his claim as Britain's next F1 champion

As a highly-rated Mercedes junior, George Russell is naturally billed as Lewis Hamilton's heir apparent where Britain's next Formula 1 champion is concerned. But he may face competition for that accolade from Lando Norris, fresh from a confidence-boosting run to third at Imola whose rise is being accelerated by his McLaren team’s revival

Formula 1
Apr 29, 2021
The biggest headache F1 faces over its sprint race experiments Prime

The biggest headache F1 faces over its sprint race experiments

The news this week that F1 has green-lit 'sprint qualifying' races that will determine the grid for three grands prix in 2021 was met with a blend of excitement and scepticism. But before those in both camps can be vilified, F1 must first work out what its criteria is for success - and what will justify making them a more permanent fixture

Formula 1
Apr 28, 2021