Lewis Hamilton emerged from the Mercedes garage yesterday after completing a massive 121 laps of the Circuit de Catalunya in his new motor. He looked pretty shattered after a hard days work and was greeted by one of the bigger media scrums in the paddock. We were there at the front to hear what he had to say.
“It’s been a good day” said Lewis, who informed us that there haven’t been any updates put of the car since Jerez, but that they are making steps forward in terms of the setup and understanding the new Pirelli tyres.
When quizzed further about the tyres he simply said that “It’s not too bad, could be better.” In the morning Lewis posted a super quick time on the hard tyres, quick enough that Red Bull should be paying attention. The Brit continued; “We had the hard tyre in the morning, it was pretty good, but all the tyres have degradtion. Looking after them isn’t that easy.”
Hamilton added that working with his new team is “satisfying” in terms of the development input he has and how the factory is impressive. “The guys are working incredibly hard and it’s very encouraging, a great atmosphere and everyone is massively motivated.”
Referring back to Lewis’ impressive victory in Austin last year and whether the new tyres will allow such performances in 2013, Hamilton was apprehensive.
“Last test the tyres didn’t behave too well. They are better here, but I don’t know what to expect when we go racing. Time will tell. We’re just working on our programme and setup. It’s going in the right direction and I did 121 laps today so that’s good.”
Although he was sure that they are making progress, there was still some hesitation. “I have a lot of work to do. There’s a great group of guys behind me, I’ve only just arrived and immediately I see tremendous determination and effort.” However he did add that the “realistic target is to finish races and get into the points.”
From reading other reports on Lewis’ comments yesterday, it would seem that he came across very positive, but compared with Nico on Tuesday, we’d say that Lewis’ body language was more conservative and although reassuring himself (it seemed) that they are doing well, he wasn’t massively happy at all. It’s going to be an interesting season watching Lewis vs Nico, and as Lewis says, only time will tell.
Bring on Melbourne…