Lewis Hamilton has paid credit to Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport for fixing the issues that appeared in the W08 EQ Power+ over the course of the 2017 season.
Mercedes admitted that last year’s car had tendencies to be a “diva”, despite securing both world championships for a fourth year in succession. Hamilton completed 84 laps, setting his fastest time of the day on mediums tyres, a 1 minute 19.575, enough for ninth fastest on the penultimate day of winter testing – five-hundredths of a second behind team-mate Valtteri Bottas.
The Brit praised a “very productive” week for Mercedes, even though the Silver Arrows have not headed the timing screens since the final day of the first test last week – through Hamilton.
“Our week has been very productive so far,” said Hamilton.
“We got through everything we needed, reliability has been fantastic and the car feels great. We have not been working on balance, but in terms of some of the issues we had last year, a lot of them appear to have been removed.
“We get great correlation when we change bits of the car, so it’s been a smooth transition this year so far.”
In a press conference earlier today, Hamilton waxed lyrically over the increased performance of the 2018 cars, saying that he had been able to take the challenging right of Turn 9 – otherwise known as “Campsa” – flat out for the first time in his twelve year spell in Formula 1. However, the 33-year-old did acknowledge that the characteristics of the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya have drastically changed since its resurfacing.
“The track is very different to what it used to be because they resurfaced it,” the four-times champion noted.
“So it’s difficult to know what all the experience means once we get to Melbourne. But, I definitely feel that we’re moving in a positive direction. I’m really proud of everyone. They’ve been working so well in the team, the synergy is great at the moment.”
Hamilton concluded by paying tribute to International Women’s Day, speaking about his delight in an increase in female presence in the sport and the Mercedes team.
“On another note, I know it’s International Women’s Day today so happy International Women’s Day to all the ladies, to my Mum also and to my sisters.
“I think it’s an amazing time for women. In my team, there’s more women engineers than ever before. So I think it’s a good time and I hope everyone has an amazing day.”