Lewis Hamilton has backed Mercedes’ decision to split its running between its two drivers on each of the remaining test days this year.
Mercedes switched its testing programme programme after completing an unprecedented 800 kilometres yesterday with Nico Rosberg at the wheel. Rosberg drove the morning session today and Hamilton completed the session, the pair amassing another 749km between them.
“It felt quite long out there today – even though it was only the afternoon session,” said Hamilton afterwards. “We’d spoken about splitting the driving beforehand, so it wasn’t a surprise.”
“I was happy to do full days – but they are long days, so the team felt it best to mix things up to keep us both fresh. I feel great now – but yesterday I was a bit sore.”
“It’s a bit like going to the gym when you haven’t been for ages. If you do a hard workout straight away, you’ll be in pain afterwards. For your neck in particular, it doesn’t matter how hard you train during the winter, driving just hits it in a different way that you can’t really simulate.”
Hamilton admitted he was pleased to break up the long periods of running. “It is quite tedious, too, going round and round all day,” he said. “It’s not like a race, where you’ve got a strategy and you’re competing – fighting the clock and your opponents.”
“But testing never has been the most exciting. I think in my younger days, back in Formula Renault for example, it was a big buzz. But by the time you’ve spent ten years in F1, it just becomes the norm.”
2016 F1 season
- Rosberg’s 11-year F1 career in pictures
- Who will be first to grab Rosberg’s vacant Mercedes seat?
- Rosberg stuns F1 by announcing retirement
- How Mercedes were even further ahead in 2016
- Who won the team mate battles of 2016: The front runners