Hamilton: New Mercedes F1 car "feels different" to last year's

Lewis Hamilton says that the new Mercedes W10 feels "quite a bit different" compared to its 2018 Formula 1 car after the opening day of pre-season testing in Barcelona.

Hamilton: New Mercedes F1 car "feels different" to last year's

After the car was shaken down at a filming day at Silverstone last week, Valtteri Bottas ran 69 laps in this morning’s session on the opening day in Barcelona before Hamilton took over and completed 81 in the afternoon.

The pair finished the day in eighth and ninth respectively, out of the 11 drivers who ran.

“It's good to be back in the car and it’s great to see the car is running as smoothly at it is,” said Hamilton.

“It feels quite a bit different compared to last year and we're now getting to know it, trying to understand the balance and trying to understand the characteristics we're working with.

“It's been a positive first day, we got through our running plan and there’s lots for us to learn about the new car which we will be working on.”

“Since the car is brand new, we immediately found ways to improve the balance and the behaviour,” said Bottas. “And we will continue to work on that in the next days.”

Technical director James Allison confirmed that the team had taken a relaxed approach to laptimes on its first full day with the new car.

“We managed to squeeze quite a lot in to this first day of running,” he said. “Finding out both how the 2019 tyres are working and also learning about the way the car responds to set-up changes. Today was not about absolute pace and we're reasonably pleased with the handling of the car and the way it is behaving.”

Team boss Toto Wolff insisted that Mercedes will not be distracted by quick times set by Sebastian Vettel and Ferrari straight from the off.

“You need to be disciplined,” he said. “We are all keen in looking at lap times, and obviously you want to be quick and on top of the leaderboard in every single session, but it’s not the purpose of the test, it’s go through all the parts that you want to look at and go through what all the data and sensors tell you.

“We don’t know yet how the competitive order is going to be, we feel no sense of entitlement for being top of the pack, and this morning showed you why. The Ferrari looked ultra strong.”

Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes AMG F1 W10, carries a test rig

Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes AMG F1 W10, carries a test rig
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Photo by: Rubio / Motorsport Images

Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes AMG F1 W10, carries a test rig

Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes AMG F1 W10, carries a test rig
2/11

Photo by: Rubio / Motorsport Images

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1 W10.

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1 W10.
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Photo by: Rubio / Motorsport Images

Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes AMG F1 W10, carries a test rig

Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes AMG F1 W10, carries a test rig
4/11

Photo by: Rubio / Motorsport Images

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes-AMG F1 W10 EQ Power+

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes-AMG F1 W10 EQ Power+
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Photo by: Charles Coates / Motorsport Images

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes-AMG F1 W10 EQ Power+

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes-AMG F1 W10 EQ Power+
6/11

Photo by: Charles Coates / Motorsport Images

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes-AMG F1 W10 EQ Power+

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes-AMG F1 W10 EQ Power+
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Photo by: Charles Coates / Motorsport Images

Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes AMG F1 W10, carries a test rig

Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes AMG F1 W10, carries a test rig
8/11

Photo by: Rubio / Motorsport Images

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes-AMG F1 W10 EQ Power+ runs wide

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes-AMG F1 W10 EQ Power+ runs wide
9/11

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes-AMG F1 W10 EQ Power+

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes-AMG F1 W10 EQ Power+
10/11

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes-AMG F1 W10 EQ Power+

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes-AMG F1 W10 EQ Power+
11/11

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

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