The first full day of testing in Barcelona could hardly have gone better for Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes as the three-time World Champion topped the times with the W08.
The car also ran reliably, with Valtteri Bottas running in the morning and contributing to an impressive total of 152 laps.
“It’s been a good day, a positive day for the team, lots of laps, lots of information that we’ve gained today so we can try to improve the car,” said Hamilton. “The g-forces definitely are higher, I’d say we’re pulling at least two more g’s than we would normally.
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“Just the downforce, so much more downforce which is something we always wanted – as a driver you always want to go fast through the corners.
“It’s just a much more beefed up version of the car that we’ve had in the previous years. There’s a lot more downforce, a lot faster through the corners, everything you know of, and that means more load on the driver, which, it’s quite a considerable amount more than before, which is a good challenge.
“We’ve not done any work to get the balance perfect, today is really just about ticking off all the list, all the check points with the car, and then getting mileage for reliability. And I think in the days to come we’ll start to improve the car.”
Meanwhile, Hamilton had mixed feelings about the new cars in general: “I think the cars look fantastic. The wider wheels, the wider body, the wider chassis, I think it does look fantastic – and hopefully it’s great for the fans. I was driving behind a couple of cars, it’s harder to follow, it’s going to be harder to overtake, tires don’t degrade. So yeah, it’s going to be very interesting.”