Positive Lewis Hamilton sees ‘clear improvement’ after first drive of Mercedes’ W15

Sam Cooper
Lewis Hamilton in his Mercedes race suit.

Lewis Hamilton.

Lewis Hamilton being positive in pre-season is not something we have heard since 2021, but the seven-time World Champion was pleased with what he saw in Bahrain.

After George Russell got his go on Day 1, it was Hamilton behind the wheel of the W15 on Thursday and the early feedback from the driver was good.

Hamilton said it was a “clear improvement” from last year’s W14 but reaffirmed there was still “progress” to be made.

Lewis Hamilton upbeat after first W15 test

Flashback to this time last year and a dismayed Hamilton was left frustrated as the Mercedes engineers ignored his pleas and brought a similar design to their 2202 car.

Hamilton would prove to be right with the Silver Arrows abandoning that concept for Monaco onwards and the W15 has far more in common with the B-spec design than the one that rolled out in Bahrain this time a year ago.

With Hamilton having completed 123 laps in the new car, he was pleased with what he found.

“It was a productive day out there,” Hamilton said. “We gathered lots of learnings about the W15, both in our long running and single lap work.

“We’ve clearly made an improvement with this year’s car and it’s much nicer to drive.

“A big thank you to everyone at Brackley and Brixworth for the efforts they’ve put in to deliver that over the past year. I’m really grateful for all their hard work.”

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Hamilton finished third in the running and with Ferrari and Red Bull ahead, he conceded there was still “progress” to be made on the final day of pre-season testing.

“We’ve still got progress to make of course. But this is a good foundation for us to build on.

“We’ll keep our heads down and continue to work to find improvements, both over the rest of the test and into next week.

“I’m looking forward to being back in the car tomorrow morning and continuing that learning.”

Hamilton will take part in the first session of the day on Friday ahead of the opening race next week.

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