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

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

15:50
David Kelly from Stevenage has been missing since 1984.

A public appeal to trace a Stevenage man who has been missing since 1984 has been relaunched today with a heartfelt plea from his brother.

A petition has been launched which complains that members of staff at Baldock Manor are parking along Anchor Road.

The director of a Baldock rehabilitation centre says that he’s not aware that his staff have been causing parking problems for people living nearby, despite a petition with almost 100 signatures claiming that they’re causing a real headache.

Fire crews were first to get to Kelsey who was sat stranded on the hard shoulder on the A1(M)

A woman due to take a hospital pregnancy test hours later had to sit clutching the steering wheel of her crushed car for an hour as she waited for an ambulance to arrive.

10:07
Foxholes Care Home in Hitchin has been rated by the CQC as requires improvement at its latest inspection, but a spokesman has vowed the Pirton Road home will be fully compliant when they next return.

The latest care home in our area to come under the CQC microscope is confident it will be ‘fully compliant’ when inspectors next return.

”North

Most read stories

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Most commented stories

Digital Edition

Image
Read the The Comet e-edition E-edition