Hamilton hails 'very encouraging' pre-season
2 March 2013 – Lewis Hamilton has described his pre-season preparations with Mercedes as 'very encouraging', with 2008 World Champion enjoying a trouble-free run on his final day in the team's F1 W04 chassis before the Australian Grand Prix later this month.
Hamilton topped the timesheets with a personal best 1:20.558 on Soft tyres at the Circuit de Catalunya on Saturday, the fastest lap set at the Spanish venue so far this year and enough to put the Briton 0.708 seconds ahead of nearest rival Felipe Massa.
"It was great to have a dry track today for my final day of testing, and we were able to get through all the test items that we wanted to achieve by the end of my programme," Hamilton explained to the gathered media in the Barcelona paddock.
"There's still a lot of work ahead of us to get to where we want to be but the team is doing a great job. The reliability, the mileage and the step-by-step improvements that we have achieved during the three tests are all very encouraging."
Despite his encouraging Saturday performance, Hamilton is certain that his rivals have more speed to unleash and is refusing getting carried away ahead of the opening race.
"Whilst we've been focusing on our own performance, we definitely haven't seen the full potential of our competitors yet, so it's difficult to predict where we might be," said Hamilton. "I'll be back at the factory next week doing some final preparation work on the simulator and with my engineers, and then it's off to Melbourne for the first race."