The Mercedes-AMG F1 W09 EQ Power+ hits a very cold track on the first day of pre-season testing in Barcelona

Date: Monday 26 February 2018
Drivers: Valtteri Bottas (AM), Lewis Hamilton (PM)
Circuit: Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya
Circuit Length: 4.655 km
Laps Completed: Valtteri 58, Lewis 25, Total 83
Distance Covered: Valtteri 270 km, Lewis 116 km, Total 386 km
Best Lap Time: Valtteri 1:20.349, Lewis 1:22.327

Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport completed the majority of its planned programme on the first day of 2018 pre-season testing, gathering valuable aero and tyre data. Owing to cold temperatures throughout the day and rain after the lunch break the team decided to cut the running short midway through the afternoon. Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton took turns at the wheel of the all-new F1 W09 EQ Power+, completing a total of 83 laps at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.

  • Valtteri was the first behind the wheel in the morning session, completing the programme the team had planned
  • Lewis session in the afternoon was cut short as the weather changed for the worse and made it tricky to run representative configurations
  • Today’s programme focused on aerodynamic data collection and runs to improve the understanding of the 2018 Pirelli tyres
  • Mercedes-Benz Power Units today completed a total of 833km
  • Tomorrow, Lewis will drive the F1 W09 EQ Power+ in the morning with Valtteri behind the wheel in the afternoon session

Valtteri Bottas:
Our first morning here in Barcelona was very positive. We got everything done that we had planned. The main mission for the morning was to gather aerodynamic data, so I was doing runs at constant speeds. I got a few practice laps for myself as well; but that kind of running was very limited. We didn’t do any performance running, so I haven’t pushed the W09 to its limits yet.

The initial feeling of the car was good, it was behaving well. I couldn’t point out any negatives compared to last year’s car, only positives so far.

It was really good to be back in the car; it felt like I haven’t been away at all. It didn’t take any time to get used to the car – that’s a good feeling. Driving these cars is still hard work for the drivers, but I had a good training programme over the winter, so I felt physically prepared.

The weather conditions today were a bit tricky with the cold temperatures. Neither the cars nor the tyres are made to be driven in five degrees Celsius. We ran two sets of Medium tyres. In these conditions it was difficult to get enough heat into them to get them working properly. That’s been the main challenge of the day, but that’s the same for everyone. The amount of testing we can do is limited so we have to make the most of it.

Lewis Hamilton:
It’s great to be back in the car after three months off, but unfortunately we didn’t get the chance to complete many laps today owing to the bad weather.

The track was very cold in the afternoon, meaning it was tough to get any sort of heat into the tyres. The tyres weren’t really working in these temperatures, so I could not get a real feel for them.

I didn’t really get the chance to push in the car and go up to top speeds as the conditions were so bad. It’s hard for me to say a whole lot about the car because I did not drive it for a long time, but the initial feeling is good.

Pos. Driver Team Time Laps
1 Daniel Ricciardo (3) Red Bull 1:20.179 105
2 Valtteri Bottas (77) Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport 1:20.349 58
3 Kimi Räikkönen (7) Ferrari 1:20.506 80
4 Nico Hülkenberg (27) Renault 1:20.547 73
5 Carlos Sainz (55) Renault 1:22.168 26
6 Lewis Hamilton (44) Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport 1:22.327 25
7 Fernando Alonso (14) McLaren 1:22.354 51
8 Brendon Hartley (28) Toro Rosso 1:22.371 93
9 Lance Stroll (18) Williams 1:22.452 46
10 Romain Grosjean (8) Haas 1:22.578 55
11 Marcus Ericsson (9) Sauber 1:23.408 63
12 Nikita Mazepin (34) Force India 1:25.628 22
13 Sergey Sirotkin (35) Williams 1:44.148 28