Lewis Hamilton began his first official day in the Mercedes W10 during winter testing, kickstarting his pursuit of a sixth FIA Formula 1 World Championship title with Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport.
The reigning-World Champion’s running did not commence until the afternoon, as Valtteri Bottas completed his shift in the W10 in the morning.
When Hamilton went out on track after the lunch break, he was able to accumulate a total 81 laps (12 more than Bottas) but only put together the ninth fastest time and two seconds off the pace.
However, the Brit did set his time on the C2 (medium compound) tyre, unlike Sebastian Vettel who was quickest for Scuderia Ferrari Mission Winnow on the softer C3 (soft compound).
“It’s good to be back in the car and it’s great to see the car is running as smoothly at it is,” Hamilton said.
“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.”
The Brit will be in the car again on Tuesday morning before Bottas takes over driving duties in the afternoon. Hamilton equaled his own personal record of eleven wins in a season and is in the hunt to break Michael Schumacher‘s records of 91 wins and 7 titles by the time his F1 career draws to a conclusion.
“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,” Hamilton added.