Lewis Hamilton sampled the Mercedes W04 for the first time at Jerez on Monday

2008 World Champion likens experience to driving a new road car

By William Esler.   Last Updated: 05/02/13 12:34am

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Lewis Hamilton sampled the Mercedes W04 for the first time at Jerez on Monday and described it as 'not too bad'.

Having spent his entire F1 career with McLaren, the 28-year-old embarks on a new chapter in 2013 after making the switch to the Silver Arrows.

The 2008 World Champion likened the experience to driving a different road car for the first time, when you try to learn where all the switches are.

"It was not too bad, it just felt like driving a different car," Hamilton told Sky Sports News.

"I am not sure what else to say, there is a lot going on, a lot of new controls I am getting used to and so much information coming in and just trying to get on top of it.

Testing on Sky Sports

From dawn to dusk, Sky Sports Online will be providing live interactive commentary from trackside at both Jerez and Barcelona on every day of testing this winter, while Sky Sports News will be providing regular live updates from the tests, starting with Jerez on February 5-8.

A round-up show featuring the day's interviews from Jerez will go out at 9pm each evening of the test on Sky Sports F1.

"The steering settings that I had before are very different on this car and there are a lot more buttons as well. So utilising those and understanding the set up changes that they make - the dif settings.

"All the calls are different - they use different terminology on top of that and the car brake bias has six settings instead of the three I used to have so there is a lot of different stuff going on.

"I've driven the simulator a few times, but this was the first time I got to get a feel for it and also the tyres weren't the right tyres."

Despite Mercedes enduring a difficult second half of 2012, Sebastian Vettel named Hamilton as a potential title rival at the Red Bull launch.

However, the Englishman remained tight lipped when asked if he could challenge for the World Championship replying: "I can't really say."

Hamilton stopped on track during his run in the W04, but he says that was planned as part of the run insisting there was nothing to worry about.

"We just ran out of fuel," he commented. "It is a procedure we take."

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