Straightforward F1 testing start for Mercedes

Lewis Hamilton at the wheel of the W13 Mercedes F1 car

A straightforward opening day for Mercedes saw Lewis Hamilton and George Russell rack up nearly 600km of running in F1 pre-season testing.

The duo split the honours during the day with Russell completing the morning session before Hamilton climbed aboard the W13 for the afternoon.

Both enjoyed flawless running, recording times just 0.2s apart on the C3 tyre to end proceedings with the fourth (Russell) and fifth (Hamilton) best times.

“We got through a lot of work today and both drivers have been able to give us their initial impressions of the W13,” said Andrew Shovlin, trackside engineering director for the squad.

“Overall the day has been surprisingly straightforward although looking up and down the pitlane, you can see how high the reliability standards are and most teams seemed to be running their programmes without issue.”

A total of 1130 laps were run across all 10 teams, almost 5300km of track action.

Of that, Mercedes-powered cars recorded almost half, with 2239 km across the four squads.

The factory team did a fair chunk of that as it worked through its programme, its 127 laps equating to 593.725 km.

“There really is a lot to try and cram into the six days of winter testing when you consider how different the car and the regulations are,” Shovlin noted.

“Nevertheless, we have made good progress on understanding the aerodynamics and the tyres, while at the same time getting nearly 600km under our belts.

“From a pace point of view it’s too early to say where anyone stands, we’ve also got a few wrinkles to iron out in terms of balance and performance before really trying to put times on the board,” he added.

“However, our overall feeling from today is a good one and we’re looking forward to making more progress tomorrow.”

F1 pre-season testing resumes in Spain at 19:00 AEDT this evening (09:00 local time).

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