Mercedes using Bahrain test to understand 2017 Pirelli tyres – Hamilton

Lewis Hamilton topped day one in Bahrain - Credit: Daimler AG

Lewis Hamilton felt positive after completing 97 laps of the Bahrain International Circuit on the opening day of the in-season test, two days after finishing second to Sebastian Vettel in the Bahrain Grand Prix.

The Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team racer was attempting to get a better understanding of the 2017 Pirelli tyres during the day, and despite a small electronic issue early in the day, felt that the team have made progress with them and with the aerodynamics at the rear of his W08.

“Today was tricky with it being so hot and very gusty but we still managed to get through plenty of work,” said Hamilton. “Our focus was on advancing our understanding of the tyres and also the rear of the car so that we can improve our long runs – particularly during the race and on the SuperSoft compound.

“We came here with a specific goal, so it was positive to get on top of that with the team.”

Hamilton will hand over to team-mate Valtteri Bottas for the second day of the test on Wednesday and switches his attention to the Russian Grand Prix at the end of the month, although tyres should have less of an impact there as they did in Bahrain.

“Sochi is a smoother track and less abrasive on the tyres, so they can go quite a long way,” said Hamilton. “Hopefully we can rely on the pace of our car there rather than our use of the tyres.”