Lewis Hamilton happy with Mercedes' progress ahead of new updates for the W04
Long-distance Lewis second in timesheets on Day One
By Pete Gill. Last Updated: 28/02/13 6:48pm
Lewis Hamilton has expressed his satisfaction with Mercedes' progress after a positive - and extended - outing on the opening day of the third and final winter test at Barcelona.
Although the second-fastest Hamilton was left well adrift in the timesheets by the searing 1:22.693 lap of Mark Webber, the Red Bull's table-topping time was set on the soft tyres whereas Hamilton's quickest lap was recorded on the medium compounds. Just as significantly, Hamilton completed over 100 laps despite the mixed conditions, reducing the team's early reliability woes at the Jerez test to something of a distance memory.
"We got some good running and it was a good race simulation," the 2008 World Champion told Sky Sports News. "I'm really happy, we are making progress and moving forward.
"All the guys have done a fantastic job both here and at the factory. I'm really happy that we're making progress together and very much enjoying working with everyone. The last couple of days of pre-season testing are always really exciting when everyone starts to add their upgrades so I'm looking forward to the weekend."
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Hamilton will complete his preparations for the upcoming season opener in Australia on Saturday, with Nico Rosberg driving the W04 on Friday and Sunday. However, Hamilton appears - statistically, at least - to be well set ahead of his keenly-anticipated full race debut for Mercedes: according to the team themselves, Lewis has completed the equivalent distance of almost seven grands prix during his five days of winter testing.
Day One timesheet.
1) Mark Webber, Red Bull, 1:22.693, 89 laps, Soft tyres.
2) Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, 1:24.348, 113 laps, Medium tyres.
3) Jean Eric Vergne, Toro Rosso, 1:25.017, 59 laps, Medium tyres.
4) Valtteri Bottas, Williams, 1:26/458. 85 laps, Super Soft tyres.
5) Sergio Perez, McLaren, 1:26.538, 100 laps, Super Soft tyres.
6) Esteban Gutierrez, Sauber, 1:26.574, 91 laps, Soft tyres.
7) Paul di Resta, Force India, 1:27.107, 57 laps, Medium tyres.
8) Felipe Massa, Ferrari, 1:27.541, 112 laps, Medium tyres.
9) Max Chilton, Marussia, 1:28.166, 78 laps, Medium tyres.
10) Charles Pic, Caterham, 1:28.644, 83 laps, Medium tyres.
11) Romain Grosjean, Lotus, 1:34.928, 52 laps, Medium tyres.