Lewis Hamilton: “The field will be close, that’s for sure”

Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd.

Lewis Hamilton only managed 49 laps during the first morning of the second pre-season testing following the discovery of damage to the floor of the car.

His run predominantly centred around the collection of aerodynamic data with various development parts fitted. But an hour was lost due to the damage and meant the Brit only completed a little under half of the laps achieved by Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team team-mate Valtteri Bottas.

I didn’t get a massive amount of laps in this morning but the car was feeling similar to last week,” he said. “We’re on target in terms of the laps that we’ve done and the mileage, but we’re always searching for more performance. 

“We had some damage to the floor this morning, which is why we stopped early. I sacrificed a little bit of my time to make sure Valtteri’s car was fixed for the afternoon.”

The day ended with Hamilton fourth with a time of 1:20.456, seven tenths behind leader Felipe Massa and a couple of tenths behind Daniel Ricciardo in second and Sebastian Vettel in third. And the Scuderia Ferrari’s and Red Bull Racing’s pace did not go unnoticed.

When we left here last week it looked like Ferrari was our closest rivals, today Red Bull look quick,” he added.

It’s going to be interesting over the next few days and when we arrive in Australia. The field will be close, that’s for sure.”