Lewis Hamilton, McLaren, Barcelona, 2011

Hamilton says McLaren need more testing

2011 F1 testingPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Lewis Hamilton, McLaren, Barcelona, 2011
Lewis Hamilton, McLaren, Barcelona, 2011

Lewis Hamilton said he hopes the team are able to do more testing before the start of the season as doubts grow over the fourth test in Bahrain.

Speaking to journalists in Barcelona he said: “More testing is better for everyone.

“This year is a little different than last, last year we had a tyre everyone knew, now we are getting used to new tyres, rear wing, KERS, completely new compounds of tyres. With more testing we would get better.

“I’ll be happy if we get the test. Let’s see what happens.”

He admitted that if the Bahrain Grand Prix was cancelled or postponed it would be good for McLaren:

“I hope its not the case. But the more time we have, the better it is for us. I won’t complain if we have a bit more time given to us.”

Hamilton is concerned about the rate of wear on the new Pirelli tyres: “It’s very strange. At the start of the race you try to preserve tyres and today I drove a bit easier on my first long run, but the tyres went away.

“There was nothing I could do in the second run, I tried to look after them even more but I was going so slow. It’s not particularly exciting, but they lasted a bit longer. I don’t know what that’s going to be like in a race though.”

Hamilton described the MP4-26’s performance as “OK, not too bad” but added: “It’s difficult to know how much is the tyres and how much is the car.

“The tyres are very difficult to use this year. When we come to Barcelona, it’s even more important than it was the last two tests.”

Hamilton admitted to concerns – also voiced by team mate Jenson Button yesterday – that other teams have completed more laps with their new cars:

“We had a few technical issues, we were able sort out though. We did 90-odd laps today, that’s an improvement, a good step for us.

“Yes, we want to get more mileage. I hope to do that tomorrow.”

Asked about Ferrari and Red Bull he said: “They did lots of laps, [Mark] Webber did 140!

“All I can do is laugh. It’s incredible what they are doing, it’s fantastic they managed to get that many laps, but slowly and surely, I’m sure we will get there.”

He’s hopeful the team will get on top of their problems: “I think any reliability issues are a concern but we have got great people around me who are intelligent, who are able to solve potential issues we have. That’s how we work as a handle the challenges.

“Of course we would love not have any problems, but then it would be easy.”

Quotes and additional reporting by Leandra Graves

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Image ?? Pirelli