2013 F1 season
Lewis Hamilton said he was not concerned by the pace shown by Red Bull so far on the final day of testing.
Sebastian Vettel set a time of 1’18.565 on hard tyres in the first half of the final day of testing but Hamilton wasn’t concerned by the show of pace from the RB9:
“18.5, yeah, I don’t know how the hards behave but over the last couple of days people seem to get a decent time out of the hards. Yeah, I mean the Red Bull’s always quick so it’s not a surprise, it doesn’t impress me at all.”
He said Mercedes were unsure where they stood compared to the rest of the field at the moment:
“I’ve asked the guys to try and predict it but they don’t know. We don’t know what fuel loads people are on so it would be just a guess.”
Hamilton completed 59 laps on the morning of his second day in the Mercedes. He lost most of his first day of running on Wednesday after a brake failure caused a high-speed crash.
“It’s much, much better than what we started with,” he said. “The car’s obviously been capable of that we’ve just had a couple of issues.”
“I feel like the mileage, of course it will count,” he added. “Because by the time we get to the end someone’s done 5,000 kilometres or whatever it is and we would have done four or something like that.
“But we’re catching up. Nico did 150 laps yesterday so he already caught kind of a day back up with people doing 80 laps, something like that.
“We’re probably not going to be able to get to 150 laps today because Nico had already done close to 100 by now. But we’ll still try and get as much time in as possible.”
Hamilton spoke to media at Jerez while the final day of testing was red-flagged when a hole appeared in one of the kerbs. Hamilton said the delay, which lasted almost an hour, didn’t affect him:
“It works out well because i just had lunch,” he said. “The guys are working on changing some things on the car so we just shifted our lunch earlier.
“I didn’t even see what was on I heard it was a manhole or something on the track. It wasn’t an issue for me while I was out there but as long as they fix it and we get out hopefully quite soon.”
He said Mercedes are “at the level we hoped we’re at” with the W04. “I couldn’t really ask for more.”
“The guys have done a great job to add downforce to the car and understand where they’ve been and take the car in the direction they really wanted to go.”
However he added he needed more running to give them team the direction they need: “I wouldn’t say I was clear, no. With time and more testing I think I’ll become more clear.”
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