After pulling the covers off their 2019 season challenging machinery this week Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas were all smiles. Taking to the track for a pre-season filming day, which was officially limited to 100 kilometres as well, as being limited to non-race specification demonstration compound tyres, it was the first taste that the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport duo had to sample their new work rides.
Lewis in particular said that despite being limited in distance and the non-race tyres, his excitement levels were the same as when he first drove a Formula 1 car: “It was a great first date, probably one of the best ones that we’ve had in all these years,” said Lewis.
“Of course there’s things we can continue to work on, but so many people worked tirelessly to pull this car together, and to see it come to the test, just go out and get through our programme as we needed to and get the filming done, it’s great. And I tell you, for me, it’s crazy, because I’ve been racing a long, long time – it’s my seventh year with the team, and the excitement I had today was the same as I had when I first got in a Formula 1 car, which is really weird. I was not expecting that but I’m happy that I have that.”
Valtteri added: “Being the first person ever to drive a new Formula 1 car is very cool. I feel very privileged and it was nice to get a bit of a feel. Obviously it is a shakedown, so it’s not a proper test but everything was working fine. Definitely found some things that we can already improve for the testing, found some positives and everyone seems happy. The car was running without issues, so good to be back at it.”
Check out the Mercedes-AMG F1 W10 EQ Power+ lapping Silverstone ahead of the first official test at Barcelona on February 18th.