Lewis Hamilton pleased after 'interesting' F1 Test at Barcelona
Title leader hopes team learned some useful lessons for Monaco
By James Galloway and Jonathan Green
Last Updated: 11/12/18 12:38pm
Lewis Hamilton hopes a productive day of testing at Barcelona will serve Mercedes well at next week's Monaco GP.
Two days after claiming a hugely impressive race victory at the Circuit de Catalunya to increase his championship lead to 17 points, Hamilton completed 151 laps in the W09 as Mercedes worked through their day one programme.
The team confirmed their job sheet included data collection in order to correlate performance between the wind tunnel and track after recent car improvements, set-up work, plus focus on engine development.
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Mercedes also completed a trial for F1's governing body by placing two lights on their car's rear-wing endplates.
And while not a particular lover of F1 testing duties, Hamilton was pleased to get the extra mileage under his belt ahead of a key phase of the season.
"It was a good day and a relatively interesting test, I'm glad we did it," he said.
"We got through a large programme and did 151 laps, which is a good sign of reliability.
"I'm looking forward to Monaco; hopefully we can take some of the things we've learned onto there."
Although the fast, sweeping Barcelona layout bears little resemblance to the narrow confines of Monaco's streets, the Circuit de Catalunya's final sector does present a chance for teams to get a read on their respective car's slow-speed performance.
Vettel backs Pirelli tyre change decision
Sebastian Vettel says he now understands Pirelli's decision to alter the tread depth of tyres for the Spanish GP, having suffered severe blistering when testing the normal compounds on Tuesday at the Circuit de Catalunya.
Pirelli decided to reduce tread depth by 0.4mm after teams suffered blistering in pre-season testing, and the same tyres will be used at the French and British GPs.
Ferrari struggled to get their tyres to work compared to Mercedes, who secured a one-two finish in Barcelona, and Red Bull and Vettel was forced to two-stop due to their high tyre wear.
But after using the original specification on day one of the first in-season test of 2018, Vettel acknowledged the correct call had been made.
"I think it's pretty straightforward," Vettel said. "Obviously you don't get the chance to revisit these kind of decisions that are made but we did it today and the result is that if we used the normal tyres on Sunday, it would have probably been worse, so it was the correct call.
"And it was our fault for not having the same tyre wear or life as other people."