Formula 1

Mercedes end testing on high note

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Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd.

Mercedes-AMG Motorsport ended pre-season winter testing at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya on a high note.

Both Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas took charge of part of the running over the course of the day, with Hamilton behind the wheel of the W11 in the morning, Bottas taking over in the afternoon.

Mercedes make the most of testing

The Briton, who ran a total of 90 laps, spent time working on his long-run programme from yesterday’s session, also carrying out aero development work.

“We made it through testing! It’s crazy how quickly these past two weeks have gone. It’s been intense, with a huge amount of work from everybody at the track and back home at the factories,” he said.

Hamilton added he notices improvements compared to last year’s W10, but recognises there is still work to do ahead of the start of the season in Melbourne.

“The car’s feeling like a step forward from last year, but it’s clear we’ve still got a few issues we need to iron out ahead of Melbourne.

“I’ve got total confidence in the team and know they’ll be doing everything they can to make sure we arrive in Australia in a good place.

“The start of the new season comes around so quickly and now we go racing in just two weeks’ time. I can’t wait,” he said.

In a similar vein, Hamilton’s team-mate Bottas was happy with how this year’s test has gone.

“That’s it for pre-season testing for another year. I think we can be happy that we’ve made the most of it, only missing out on a few miles to some small issues. I’ve already got a nice feeling with the car and it’s been good to get the chance to get comfortable with the long and short runs, and practice some starts too.

“I feel like we’ve made a step forward in most areas and it’s been a successful test. As always we’ll be focusing on our own performance and we’ve got two important weeks coming up now ahead of the first race to put what we’ve learnt from the test into action,” said the Finn.

The car’s pretty strong

Technical director James Allison was also encouraged with the performance the team were able to achieve.

“It feels good to wrap up testing at the top of the leaderboard and end two intense weeks for the team with a decent final day on track.

“We worked through our programme without any hitches today, and spent some time figuring out how best to prepare the tyres for single lap runs.

“The car’s been pretty strong throughout the whole of winter testing and it’s been an exciting period for us exploring its potential,” Allison concluded.

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F1 reporter for The Checkered Flag. Also a second year Journalism student at Robert Gordon University. Feel free to follow me on Twitter at @findlaygrant5.
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