Lewis Hamilton misses Barcelona tyre test to rest sore foot
Hamilton aggravated foot in training on Tuesday and has decided to rest before US GP; Mercedes say no concerns for Austin race
By James Galloway
Last Updated: 13/10/16 6:29pm
Lewis Hamilton has pulled out of the Pirelli tyre test at Barcelona to rest a sore foot ahead of next week's US Grand Prix.
Hamilton had been due to drive in his first mid-season test since 2014 at the Circuit de Catalunya on Wednesday, but team-mate and title rival Nico Rosberg, who had been scheduled to be in the car on Thursday, drove instead.
"Lewis had some discomfort in his foot after training on Tuesday," a Mercedes spokesman told Reuters. "It was agreed he wouldn't test so he could rest it and get physio to be in good shape for Austin, which he will be. No concerns on that front."
Mercedes reserve and Manor race driver Pascal Wehrlein has been drafted in to complete the two-day test on Thursday, with the world champions providing a modified version of their 2015 car as Pirelli continue testing next season's new wider tyres.
On Wednesday, Rosberg completed 60 laps in the W06, which was changed to simulate 2017's increased downforce levels, but the day was interrupted by rain.
Hamilton endured a tumultuous Japanese GP weekend with his relationship with the written media taking a hit following criticism of his use of Snapchat during the Thursday Drivers' Press Conference.
The world champion, who then refused to take questions at his usual post-qualifying press briefing due to what he labelled "disrespectful" media coverage, dropped 33 points behind Rosberg in the fight for the championship in Sunday's race after a botched start compromised his race.
With four wins from the final four races now not necessarily enough for Hamilton to retain his title, the 31-year-old heads to Austin realistically needing to end a victory drought which has stretched to five grands prix.
Hamilton has won on F1's last two visits to the Circuit of the Americas, with his only defeat in four starts coming in 2013 when he finished fourth.
Six months half price
You can watch Formula 1, plus England's tour of Bangladesh and Premier League football on Sky Sports