Lewis Hamilton was able to get to know his new 2020 Mercedes F1 car on Friday at Silverstone.
In a shakedown, Lewis Hamilton and team-mate Valtteri Bottas were able to get behind the wheel of the Mercedes W11 at Silverstone on Friday.
Mileage was limited, meaning the two drivers were unable to complete a large number of laps. However, Lewis Hamilton is still satisfied with his first experience with the W11.
“I haven’t been on a track for a while and every time you come back on the track the excitement is high. I haven’t been on a track in a while and every time you get back on the track you get excited,” said Lewis Hamilton after his run at Silverstone on Friday.
“The car did very well and the guys at the factory worked very hard to get it out on the track.
“Only two drivers can drive this car, so you have to be very attentive to everything that happens. The way you feel the car and its balance is really important, especially as it was even more difficult on a track that wasn’t entirely clean.
“Now it’s time for winter testing, we’ll know how good our car is and what we’ve managed to improve from one year to the next.
“To sum up, it’s been a long time since I last drove in Abu Dhabi, so it’s a good start. ”
The 2020 winter tests will start on Wednesday 19th February in Barcelona and will be split into two sessions of three days each.
Mercedes comments on the season ahead
Team boss Toto Wolff and chief designer James Allison remain bullish about the team’s prospects in 2020, but are aware of the likely three way threat from Red Bull and Ferrari.
“The atmosphere this year is very calm, very focused,” insists Wolff.
“We all know that there’s a job to do and results to be delivered in order to meet our own expectations.
“We’re working hard to try and prepare in the best way possible,
“We know that we need to fight extremely hard for that as we had to in every year. This has been our mindset from the beginning,
“There will be teams that will put a lot of focus on 2020 and there will be teams that will start to shift their resources into 2021,” Wolff adds
“Getting that balance right will be very important, but that’s not an easy thing to do,” he acknowledged. “Our ambition is clear: we want to be competitive in both 2020 and 2021.
“That is a great challenge, but the greater the challenge, the more we like it.”
Lights out in Australia is fast approaching… 👀
But did you know work on W11 actually started all the way back in 2018! 😮
Catch up with James from the very heart of the factory here in Brackley 👇 pic.twitter.com/lLfR9t4xG0
— Mercedes-AMG F1 (@MercedesAMGF1) January 31, 2020
James Allison acknowledges the threats from the other top two teams saying:
“We had a very golden start to last year, we managed to secure a lead in the championship that made it very difficult for our opposition to make any inroads in the second half of the year.
“But in that second half, both Ferrari and Red Bull certainly closed us down in terms of competitiveness,” concludes Allison.