Hamilton edges Vettel to claim first P1

by Jared Lewis February 28, 2017, 0:30

"We'll hope to make steady steps tomorrow when Max is in the auto and then we can start to do some more trimming".

Lewis Hamilton turned the fastest time of the first day for Formula 1 testing, clocking in at 1:21.765. Over the last three years, the new engine regulations coupled with reduced downforce and high degradation tyres meant, the cars were slower, especially through corners. "Definitely can feel the new regulations they increase loads and make the vehicle have a bit more grip".

Hamilton - victor of the final four grands prix of a year ago, but who finished runner-up to the now retired Nico Rosberg - had to wait until after lunch to get his first real taste of the auto which he hopes will fire him to a fourth world championship.

The first F1 pre-season test starts on Monday February 27 and the Sky Sports F1 Digital team will be providing live commentary from dawn until dusk on all four days while Sky Sports News HQ will also deliver live updates from trackside.

But for Red Bull and McLaren the first day in Barcelona didn't go as smoothly as planned. We did lots of laps and collected loads of information today, so we can try to improve the auto as we move forward.

Clearly there is much more to come as cars are developed over the two tests, and teams begin to explore the limits with lower fuel loads and the softer compounds from Pirelli's range. A power unit change was required and kept the Spaniard in the garage until 4 p.m. local time, eventually managing to complete 29 laps and set the 10th-fastest time. "We're doing long runs, and always checking something for each run so it was very valuable for me and for the team".

Red Bull, who have hopes of challenging Mercedes this year, blamed problems with a sensor for Daniel Ricciardo managing only five laps in the morning.

In contrast to their rivals, Mercedes made a typically strong start to their preparations for the season. The Finn was second quickest at the break after completing 79 laps, and said he noticed a clear difference compared to the 2016 cars.

Williams also managed a lot of running with Felipe Massa posting 103 laps and finishing third.

Hamilton set his best time early in the afternoon, having taken over from Valtteri Bottas after lunch.

"Ferrari did a very good lap time on the medium tyres", he added.

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