Hamilton downplays pace after ‘interesting few days’

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Hamilton downplays pace after ‘interesting few days’

Formula 1

Hamilton downplays pace after ‘interesting few days’


Lewis Hamilton says he is not paying attention to his pace-setting lap time on the final day of the first pre-season test at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, after feeling he was behind on the opening two.

Mercedes finished the test with the fastest two times courtesy of Hamilton and George Russell on Friday, with both using the softest C5 compound. It was a strong finish to a week when Russell had suggested Ferrari and McLaren had the upper hand, but Hamilton says there were a lot of issues that Mercedes had to work through.

“It’s been an interesting few days,” Hamilton said. “It’s not been the easiest or the most smooth running. We’ve definitely had some obstacles to overcome but we’ve got through as much as we (could) — of course, we’d always want more laps but I am happy with today’s.

“I think I almost got 100 laps in today, so for half a day running that’s not too bad. A little bit behind on the last two days. The car is a lot different to previous years to drive, as are the tires but we’re working our way through it.

“The whole team have done an amazing job this week. The men and women back at the factory have done an awesome job. We just need to download all of this data and get through as much as we can next week, and just try to put one foot in front of the other.”

Hamilton ended the day with a number of short runs on the softer compounds that could have yielded a lap time in the 1m18s had he completed his final attempt, but despite his final benchmark of 1m19.138s leading the way for the week, he says he has no idea where Mercedes stands in the pecking order.

“It was a damn sight better than earlier on when it was damp or wet — it wasn’t a good start to the session with all that wet running. The car definitely was feeling better with the fresher tires and it was good to get a feel for the different compounds.

“You never do (look at times) on the first week, you never do. We have no idea where everyone is.”