Today saw a continuation of the programme started yesterday by Gary Paffett – namely, gathering data and feedback on Pirelli’s 2011 rubber using a modified MP4-25.

Lewis said: “It felt great to be back in the car. I haven’t been driving for a while, so it felt good to brush away the cobwebs, and I felt at home straight away.

 “Even though we were using the 2010 car, we had quite a productive day. We were trying to replicate 2011 downforce levels on the old car – so it wasn’t 100 per cent accurate – but we still got a good understanding of the new Pirellis and covered quite a lot of ground.

“The new tyres are easy to get a feel for; there’s not as much grip on the Pirellis as we had last year; they drop off quite a bit, too, and they’re a little bit harder to control over a longer stint – but it’s the same for everybody.”

Jenson Button winds up the programme tomorrow before focus shifts to Friday’s launch of the MP4-26 and next week’s Jerez test.