Times plunge as Hamilton leads first day of first Barcelona test

28 February, 2017, 00:26 | Author: Garry Little
  • Watch the new Mercedes W08 on track at Silverstone and hear Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas' verdict on their 2017 challenger

"We'll hope to make steady steps tomorrow when Max is in the vehicle and then we can start to do some more trimming".

Valtteri Bottas impressed in his debut drive for world champion Mercedes on Monday as the new Formula One pre-season got under way.

Massa also revealed that he did some F1 running in January, as his new teenaged-teammate Lance Stroll continued his unprecedented private test programme in the 2014 auto.

But Alonso, who partnered Hamilton at McLaren in 2007, took exception to his remarks - and claimed the Briton might have won the title instead of Rosberg last season if he was checking the data.

Formula One's new motorsport supremo Ross Brawn, the former Ferrari technical head and ex-Mercedes team boss, will be in Barcelona as the sport enters a new era of fatter tyres and wider, lower cars.

By contrast, the mileage of Red Bull and McLaren was limited by recurring reliability problems in Barcelona. "And that means a lot more load for the driver which is quite a considerable amount which is a good challenge", said Hamilton.

"It's been a good day, a positive day for the team, lots of laps, lots of information that we've gained so we can try to improve the auto", he added.

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The Brazilian completed 103 laps and posted the third-fastest time. "Knowing that boy is my teammate today is very pleasant for me".

Honda changed the engine for the afternoon and the double world champion from Spain was able to get out on track for a few runs with two hours of the day remaining - but still managed less than a quarter of the laps achieved by Mercedes.

"It is a beast", he said after getting out the new Mercedes W08. Ricciardo went out again in the afternoon and did 50 laps in total.

Putting a shark-finned W08 through its pace on Monday afternoon, having taken the vehicle from Valtteri Bottas during the lunch break, Hamilton clocked a 1:21.765 to go quickest.

Daniel Ricciardo lost most of the morning after a sensor issue stopped the Red Bull RB13 on track, and a subsequent battery problem caused further delays.

New signing Bottas completed 79 laps - more than a grand prix distance - in the morning, ending up second fastest to Vettel at the time. Vettel's best time was also set on the medium compound tire, as he clocked up 126 laps himself, the most of any single driver.

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