Lewis Hamilton can't wait to let 2016 Mercedes car off the leash
But Hamilton backs Mercedes' testing tactics after Ferrari grab lap time headlines; Hamilton criticises plans to raise car weights in 2017
By James Galloway in Barcelona
Last Updated: 05/03/16 10:58am
Lewis Hamilton says he cannot wait to unleash Mercedes' W07 after the world champions prioritised long-running on the opening three days of the Barcelona test.
Hamilton returned to pre-season testing action on Tuesday and even before he took to the track provided one of the images of the F1 year already when he rode an electric unicycle while walking his dog in the pit lane.
Once in the car from lunchtime after Nico Rosberg ran in the morning, Hamilton completed another 88 laps to add to his 156 from Monday, but did not set any lap times to trouble the sharp end of the timesheet.
And having almost exclusively run on medium tyres in his first day-and-a-half in the W07, the 31-year-old admitted he couldn't wait until he was given the chance to truly put the new car through its paces.
"We still have to unlock it," Hamilton said of the performance. "The set-up requirements are different this year and maybe also with these tyres in terms of how you make them last.
"I'm just waiting for the day we have more tyres, we get to do the supersoft and to start unleashing it and see how it goes. I actually prefer those test days because then you can go out, find what the car is like and then come back and make some set-up changes."
While Mercedes have not yet shown their hand, rivals Ferrari have already topped the timesheets twice and sampled the fastest tyres in Pirelli's range - including the brand new ultrasoft.
Hamilton admits the kind of testing his team are prioritising is "not the most exciting" but has no qualms with Mercedes' tried-and-trusted tactics.
"I heard some people went on the softer tyres, but we are just focusing on our own process," he said. "There is just so much information to gather and understand on the car.
"Clearly we have a target, we came with a plan, and we're sticking to that. I'm really happy with the plan the team have implemented in the last couple of years, it has given us great results, so we'll stick with that."
Meanwhile, Hamilton also hit out at plans to raise the maximum weight of F1 cars by 20kg in 2017 amid attempts to make cars and tyres wider and lower lap times.
"I think it's ridiculous, personally," he said.
"They were great at 600 kilos [in 2007], nice and nimble, it was easier for the tyres and you had less tyre blow outs. The heavier you make the car there's more force on the tyres, so the tyres will feel even worse and it just puts more stress on Pirelli to produce better tyres.
"Then more downforce… I have my opinions about it."
After months of wrangling, F1's rulemakers are now bidding to make cars three seconds faster from next year, but Hamilton added: "I don't agree with the changes that are made and have been made for many, many years."
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