Lewis Hamilton tests 2018 Pirelli tyres at Paul Ricard
World championship leader completes over 100 laps at Paul Ricard
By James Galloway and Jonathan Green
Last Updated: 08/09/17 10:20am
Lewis Hamilton tested F1's 2018 tyres at Paul Ricard on Thursday as the Mercedes driver returned to the track fresh from taking the lead of the world championship.
Hamilton completed 114 laps in warm conditions in southern France as Pirelli continue to work towards finalising their slick compounds for next season.
Team-mate Valtteri Bottas takes over the car on Friday for the second and final day of running.
Although the test has no direct bearing on Mercedes' preparations for next week's Singapore GP and beyond, Thursday nonetheless marked a rare F1 outing for Hamilton during the season away from a race weekend.
Hamilton said he volunteered to do the test.
"I will be doing the test this week, which is very rare for me because l am not a tester," said Hamiton at the Italian GP.
"I am looking forward to it, l offered to do it."
While Pirelli are careful to ensure teams do not gain an advantage from their tests, there was a suggestion at the start of the season that Vettel's work with the 2017 tyre prototypes helped Ferrari at the start of the season.
The German racked up over 2,000km during the 2016 tests while Mercedes' race drivers barely did 250km between them, with Pascal Wehrlein instead doing much of the Silver Arrows' running.
Mercedes had already done one day's running on the 2018 tyres, Bottas testing them during the Hungary in-season test before the summer break.
After Bottas completes the test on Friday, Pirelli have four days with teams left this season with Force India (two days) and Sauber (three days) staying on after October's Mexican GP and McLaren (two days) running at Interlagos after the Brazilian GP a fortnight later.
Remaining Pirelli 2018 tyre tests
|October 31-Nov 1||Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, Mexico||Sauber (Both days)|
|Force India (1 day)|
|November 15-16||Interlagos, Brazil||McLaren|
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