F1: Hamilton test drives new McLaren MP4-27 in Spain

20:49 09 February 2012

The 2012 McLaren MP4-27 [Picture: Vodafone McLaren Mercedes]

The 2012 McLaren MP4-27 [Picture: Vodafone McLaren Mercedes]

Archant

FORMULA 1 driver Lewis Hamilton got his first chance to test drive the new McLaren Mercedes 2012 challenger – the MP4-27 – in Spain today (Thursday).

The 27-year-old F1 star from Hertfordshire climbed behind the wheel on day three of official testing at the Circuito de Jerez.

Hamilton took over from Vodafone McLaren Mercedes team-mate Jenson Button, who had conducted the previous two days’ testing.

As with former F1 world champion Button, the first day was about acclimatising Hamilton to the new car, finding a workable set-up direction and ironing out a few minor issues following Lewis’ initial feedback.

After completing 80 laps, and setting a 1m 19.464s best – the fourth fastest of the day, Lewis declared himself happy and comfortable with the new McLaren.

"Today felt pretty good considering it was my first time in the new car."

F1 driver Lewis Hamilton

He said: “Today felt pretty good considering it was my first time in the new car.

“My initial feelings are pretty positive, despite going through a long, tough programme of initial tests – there were no nasty surprises, which is pleasing.

“This year’s car feels a bit different from last year’s: in 2011, we had so much stability from the rear-end, particularly in the high-speed corners – but we’re now having to find that grip elsewhere, or, at least, take grip off the front and somehow offload it at the rear.”

The 2008 world champion added: “This car’s baseline is something we can really work with.

“I know the men and women back at the factory will take a lot from this test and translate it into something new and even better for the next test.

“The car feels reasonably quick – and that’s a nice feeling.”

Nico Rosberg clocked the fastest unofficial testing time today for Mercedes, ahead of Kimi Raikkonen in the Lotus.

Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel recorded 1m 19.297s to finish ahead of Hamilton on the timesheets.

Hamilton will sit in the MP4-27 cockpit again tomorrow (Friday) for the final day of testing in Jerez.

Related articles

0 comments

More news stories

Yesterday, 20:05
Pippa Johnson as Annie Tomlin.

Popular panto performer Pip Johnson won’t be playing it for laughs when the curtain goes up on a new production at Hitchin’s Market Theatre on Friday night.

Yesterday, 17:49
Poor road repairs in Ranworth Avenue, Stevenage.

Our roads will soon resemble those “more usually found in the developing world” – and that warning is coming from someone at County Hall.

Yesterday, 15:51
Spring Road in Letchworth has been temporarily closed due to storm damage.

A Letchworth road is expected to be closed for a week after a storage tank overflowed due to storms over the weekend.

Yesterday, 14:40
A reward has been offered.

A reward has been offered today to anyone who helps find the people who illegally set off a flare in a built up area of Stevenage and damaged a house.

”North

Most read stories

Most commented stories

Digital Edition

Image
Read the The Comet e-edition today E-edition