By race day at Silverstone Lewis Hamilton was the only game in town – and he carried that momentum into the first day of testing at Germany’s Hockenheim circuit today, topping the unofficial timesheet.
In a day that saw more weather reminiscent of the washed-out British race Hamilton recorded a fastest time of 1:15.483, more than three-tenths of a second ahead of world championship rival Kimi Raikkonen, as all 10 teams began their preparations for the German Grand Prix.
In third place, off the back of a frustrating weekend, was Williams’ Nico Rosberg who failed to break the 1:16 barrier by less than one tenth of a second. Adrian Sutil for Force India was a surprise fourth with a (relatively speaking) storming lap of 1:16.516.
The only other British driver involved in the test was David Coulthard who came ninth out of ten cars with a time of 1:17.361 as he evaluated tyres and suspenstion set-up for his Red Bull team. Alexander Wurz, Honda’s test driver, was slowest of the day on 1:17.825.
Following the weekend’s celebrations Hamilton was back at the office, testing a new streamlined engine cover, evaluating suspension development and honing the Hockenheim race set-up.
He said, in a Q&A published on the McLaren.com website: “I am pleased to be back testing as I just love spending time in the car. It’s a great feeling being part of the development process with the team and I do anything I can to help. We are all pushing hard to try and win the world championships.
“Its too early say where we are [since Silverstone] but we have taken some steps forward but as always we will have to wait and see. I like this track and today is obviously the first day I have had the opportunity to drive a Formula 1 car here.
“I have enjoyed some success here in Formula 3 and it’s been really enjoyable driving the Formula 1 car today — I would have loved to drive the old circuit though as well.”
He said that he hadn’t had chance to watch the British Grand Prix yet, as he was busy on Sunday with a family dinner and then “had the best night’s sleep ever!”
He added that he thought that the three-way tie in the drivers’ championship would mean an exciting second half to the season: “Heikki and I want to continue to score points and win races. My guess is that the Championship will be decided at the last race — just like last year — but we will see.
“Obviously I have just won my home grand prix at Silverstone which was fantastic. However, the Hockenheim race is important for the team due to Mercedes-Benz and of course I want to do well here. The support we get in Germany is amazing and it would be great to have a one-two.”
He also rejected rumours that he was considering changing management team, and said he was glad to put the record straight on the subject.
Day one timesheet:
- Lewis Hamilton, McLaren: 1:15.483 (75 laps)
- Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, 1:15.803 (63 laps)
- Nico Rosberg, Williams, 1:16.099 (87 laps)
- Adrian Sutil, Force India, 1:16.516 (97 laps)
- Sebastien Bourdais, Toro Rosso, 1:16.522 (113 laps)
- Kamui Kobayashi, Toyota, 1:16.570 (65 laps)
- Nick Heidfeld, BMW Sauber, 1:16.593 (59 laps)
- Nelson A. Piquet, Renault, 1:16.856 (111 laps)
- David Coulthard, Red Bull, 1:17.361 (67 laps)
- Alexander Wurz, Honda, 1:17.825 (89 laps)