Hamilton hails ‘great team effort’ as Merc top charts

Mark Scott
Lewis Hamilton

Lewis Hamilton pays tribute to NHS.

Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas are full of praise for the Mercedes team after a very successful first week of Formula 1 testing.

An ERS issue on Thursday aside, Mercedes has set the benchmark in three key areas: pace, reliability and technical innovation.

With the DAS system capturing the attention of everyone in the Formula 1 paddock, Bottas and Hamilton combined for a total  of 494 laps, the most of any team, while Bottas set the fastest time with a 1:15.732 – half a second quicker than the best time of the entire 2019 tests.

As the six-time World Championship double winning champs spend the next few days poring over the data, Hamilton and Bottas put on record their gratitude to the team that continue to push the boundaries.

“It’s been a great effort from the team and great to see that the reliability is as strong as it is,” Hamilton said via the official Mercedes website.

“The car has felt pretty good out there.

“It’s been a solid first week and we’ve got some good mileage. It’s a true showing of all the incredible work everyone has done back at the factory and here at the track.

“I’m really proud of everyone. We’ve got to keep working hard, analyse all the data from this week and figure out how we can move the car forward and build on everything next week.”

Bottas added: “It’s been really fun today, especially getting to do some shorter runs and being able to push the car a little bit closer to the limits – seeing a little bit more of the performance of the car.

“I enjoyed it and it felt really good out there. It feels like we made a step with the set-up since yesterday. The car is very driveable and I’m sure with some more hard work next week, we can make it better, which will be the goal.

“Overall, it’s been a really good first test, we have made some improvements every day with the car. A big well done to every single team member to deliver the car and engine – great job!

“I’m looking forward to getting back in the car next week.”

Mercedes tech boss, James Allison, added that the team has been able to establish a good baseline heading into the second week of pre-season testing.

“After the brief hiatus of yesterday, it was good to get a solid day of uninterrupted, reliable running today,” he said.

“Both drivers completed a programme of set-up work and an early look at the softer compound range. Just a very quick glimpse of that, but really useful preparation for the second week of testing where we have more of the soft rubber to bring.

“It’s been a good first week, the car has been broadly reliable, and the performance has been reasonably good throughout the week. There are, of course, many things to work on and we’ll be trying to do that in week two. But it’s a really good baseline.

“At the end of this first week, we start to get some sort of feeling for where all the teams are in the pecking order and especially now a few race distances have gone down.

“But it will be really interesting in the second week as our estimates start to refine further.”

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