Hamilton admits Mercedes ‘have obstacles to overcome’ after Barcelona test

Sir Lewis Hamilton topped the timesheets on day three of pre-season testing in Barcelona after a stuttering start for Mercedes.

Sir Lewis Hamilton has said he is generally pleased with the progress he and his Mercedes team made on the final day of testing in Barcelona, but admits there is plenty of work to do ahead of the new season.

Hamilton managed just 40 laps on day two before a sensor issue curtailed his day, but enjoyed better fortunes on Friday afternoon, putting 94 laps on the board and finishing the day fastest after water trucks were deployed onto the circuit to simulate wet weather running.

He was followed by team-mate George Russell and the two Red Bulls of Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez as normal service resumed after McLaren’s Lando Norris and Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc topped the timesheets on days one and two, respectively.

After a difficult start to the first test, Hamilton is pleased at how day three panned out.

“It’s been an interesting few days; it’s not been the easiest or smoothest running – we have some obstacles to overcome,” he said, as quoted by GPFans.

“We’d always want more laps but I’m happy with today’s running. I got almost 100 laps in today, which for half a day’s running, isn’t too bad.”

Formula 1’s technical regulations underwent radical change over the winter as ground effect returned, leading to a major reduction in aerodynamic efficiency.

The tyres will also be bigger this year as the pinnacle of motorsport attempts to find ways to initiate closer and more competitive wheel-to-wheel racing.

The Briton has praised his Mercedes team’s adaptability to the new car, and said he enjoyed getting to grips with the different tyres.

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“The car is a lot different to drive than in previous years, as are the tyres, but we’re working our way through our programme,” he explained.

“The whole team have done an amazing job this week; the men and women back at the factory have worked so hard.

“We’ve got a lot of data to go through from these three days and we’ll just put one foot in front of the other and put in the work.

“It was good to get a feel for the different tyre compounds, but you never know where you are compared to the other teams on the first days of running.”

Russell maintained after day two on Thursday that McLaren and Ferrari had the upper hand, but we are unlikely to truly discover everyone’s performance until the first race in Bahrain on 20 March following three more days of pre-season testing at the Sakhir International Circuit next month.