Lewis Hamilton admitted that he never expected to manage so much mileage during the first 2014 Formula 1 test, as Mercedes’ strong start continued on Thursday at Jerez.
All F1 teams are facing huge technical challenges with the new regulations, but Hamilton covered what he called an “incredibly impressive” 62 laps on his way to the third quickest time of the third day.
“It is a more trying time so of course we had never expected to have as many laps as we’ve had now,” he said. “Particularly after other people like Red Bull haven’t had any laps.
“Time on the track is precious. We are trying to get every lap that we can possibly get, as I’m sure everybody else is, but somehow we are getting a little bit more than the others at the moment.”
Mercedes has so far covered 177 laps, 41 more than its closest rival Ferrari (136), and 163 more than Red Bull (14).
“You can see up and down the paddock that everybody has difficult times and not just us,” said Hamilton, who had to stop running after a front-wing failure on Tuesday. “It’s really incredibly impressive. Watching all the other teams which haven’t been out at all, like Red Bull, it just shows you how difficult it is. So to see us out there doing 97 laps, way above the rest, is a huge accomplishment for the team.
“There are only positives to take from these days.”