Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Circuito de Jerez, 2015

Hamilton surprised by early Mercedes reliability

2015 F1 season

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Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Circuito de Jerez, 2015Lewis Hamilton says he is surprised by how much running Mercedes managed to cover at the first pre-season test of 2015.

Mercedes covered the highest mileage of any team on every day of the test, totalling more than 2,200km of running.

“Paddy [Lowe’s] just said it’s been one of our highest weeks of mileage,” Hamilton told reporters after today’s test.

“For sure a surprise for us all to see that Nico [Rosberg’s] had the days of over 150 laps on each and for us still to have 100 laps on both days…”

“It’s just great to see the work and also the enthusiasm of the guys in the garage. And also the things that we have to work on can be easily rectified.”

But Mercedes, who ran away with last year’s championship, did not lead the times on any of the four days’ running at Jerez while Ferrari did so three times. “I think my engineer said they’re doing shorter runs,” said Hamilton when asked about Rosberg’s reference to their “eye-opening” pace.

“I haven’t been looking to be honest, just focusing on doing my own thing,” Hamilton added. “I’m sure they’re on different fuel loads to others, they look like they are.”

Hamilton lost some time during today’s session with a spin at the chicane which brought out the red flags. He said he lost the car on a damp patch while running on slicks.

He described Mercedes’ new car as being similar to its predecessor, but said it wasn’t unusual for him not to gel with a car the first time he drove it.

“You know what, every single time I’ve driven it never feels good the first time,” he said. “Because the car is at its worst and the tyres are not good in the cold conditions here in Jerez.”

“Even when we were at Valencia a few years ago or Bahrain, it never felt good the first time, it’s just how it is. But at least you know that’s the worst it’s going to be for the year because it will get better through the year. The first time, the first week you drive is when the car is at its worst.

“But I mean the car feels very, very similar to last year, it’s very difficult to pick out any differences really.”

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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6 comments on “Hamilton surprised by early Mercedes reliability”

  1. If they’re running the car with the engine power turned down, as is being widely reported, then it does not seem surprising that they are having relatively few engine problems. Also its a lot colder in Jerez than it will be at the races which start the season. So perhaps the power unit is in fact very reliable, but you can’t conclude that based on what we’ve seen so far. If its going to break it will do so on full power on a hot track.

  2. Champ just play it cool. I know he just checked Ferrari out and he is looking forward to demolish them comes Melbourne. I am really looking forward to next test to see if Mc-Honda would improve a little bit.

  3. A Ferrari fan on twitter earlier told me that Ferrari had already won this championship, and then was shocked when I said to him how mad his statement was. This first test is all about getting the car to work and then breaking it, not about pace. I’m actually hopeful that the teams have closed up to Merc this year because as a Hamilton fan, I enjoy nothing more than seeing him race wheel to wheel with somebody. However I’m not sure if it’s the past seasons of disappointment for Ferrari fans or something else that have gotten them over excited on twitter.

    From a reliability stand point most teams are looking better this year, apart from Red Bull, Mclaren are understandably unreliable but Red Bull was quite surprising how little running they got done. Let’s see how things roll out in Barcelona, which will at least some heat to stress the cars a little more. For a real idea on pace though we will have to wait until Melbourne in March, if it’s dry this year of course.

    1. However I’m not sure if it’s the past seasons of disappointment for Ferrari fans or something else that have gotten them over excited on twitter.

      Given the disappointing performance of last year, it is no surprise that their fans are jumping on this first test performance. It would be the same for a fan of any team in any sport.

      Take football. A team with a record of success finishes way down in the Premiership. The next season either a pre-season friendly or a very early game against a good team is won convincingly. Of course the fans will be ecstatic: They see real hope that their team will perform well this season, and return to form, after last season’s disappointment.

  4. The first test does seem to indicate that the Ferrari will be much improved this year. The Lotus as well… Time will tell for McHonda- but they may not start getting to speed until the summer. There is no doubt that the Merc is sandbagging- I think Rosberg was just so used to not seeing a red car anywhere close to him that when one could hang with him a couple of corners he was surprised- more of a “they don’t suck as much as they used to” response… Testing last year saw Merc keep their true pace well under wraps until Melbourne when they blew everyone’s doors off. It will happen again come March…

    1. I don’t see Merc’s pace as sandbagging…they just simply did the test their way. I’m sure no team was trying to set records for pace. They will all be faster once they are racing in anger. For now the conditions and the intentions of the teams have been different than race one will show. And I also doubt, with such limited testing, than any team can afford to sandbag much anymore…can afford to squander testing time intentionally faking it for some competitive/psychological reason. Merc seems to have the lock on being the benchmark if you believe the millions of people that have been saying through last season and the off season that they would likely dominate at least through 2015, so would anybody really be ‘caught off guard’ ‘resting on their laurels’ if Merc wasn’t showing blistering pace already? Their mega laps should already be a shot across the bow of their competitors…like they were really surprised anyway.

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