MercedesF1 completed another 147 laps - 684 km - of the Circuit de Catalunya on the penultimate day of 2017 pre-season testing in Spain, with Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas taking turns at the wheel of the F1 W08 EQ Power+
Lewis emerged for his first run as the track opened at 09:00, completing 52 laps before the hour-long lunch break at 1pm. The three time world champion focused on data collection with the 2017 Pirelli tyres and further set-up work to tune the new car for the early races of the 2017 F1 season.
“It was good to get some laps in this morning with slightly lower fuel,” he said after setting the second quickest time of the session. “We worked on balance and made quite a few changes. I learned a lot about the car before handing over to Valtteri. We were trying to simulate something a bit more like qualifying and the car felt good on lower fuel. It's great to feel it come together.”
Sebastian Vettel set the fastest time of the day, three tenths faster than Lewis and while lap times are not normally taken as gospel in testing, the Brit believes the Ferrari team are bluffing in terms of their speed and wouldn’t be surprised if they were actually the faster car….
“I think Ferrari are bluffing and that they are a lot quicker than they are showing. They're very close to us. It's difficult right now to say exactly who is quicker. But they are very close, if not faster,” he said. “Whatever the case, I can't wait to go out and compete. Just a couple more weeks to go...”