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- Updated: February 28, 2018
Mercedes star driver Lewis Hamilton has claimed that he chose to “sacrifice” driving on day two of Formula 1 pre-season for the benefit of his team, as it helped the Silver Arrows about an hour of running time on driver change.
Running time has been largely compromised in Barcelona over the first two days due to adverse weather conditions.
Mercedes has looked to split each day of the first test between its two drivers with a changeover around lunch time.
However, on the seond day, lunch was cancelled to incorporate as much time on the track as possible while conditions were still reasonable for driving.
Hamilton and Bottas are down to do half a day each every day this week, with Bottas the first in the car on Tuesday.
“With the weather conditions being up and down and the loss of track time we had yesterday, it made sense to keep Valtteri in the car this afternoon,” said Hamilton.
“Having run in the morning, he was comfortable in the car already and we would have lost about an hour of running time with the driver switch.
“With no real understanding of whether good weather was coming or not, I took the decision to sacrifice that time in order for the team to gain better understanding of the car by going through the run plan.”
Bottas would’ve been reasonably happy with his work, ending the day second on the charts in terms of lap times behind Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel, with a final tally of 94 laps and said the team did the best it could in frustrating conditions.
“It was very cold on track today; I don’t think I’ve ever driven in such cold conditions before in Formula 1,” said Bottas.
“Testing is always difficult in these temperatures, the tyres are just not made for these conditions. But we made the most out of the day.
“In the morning, we focused on aero work with different aero rakes on the car, running various tests. In the afternoon, I was doing long runs and we also worked on the set-up.
“It was quite tricky in these temperatures, but we managed to get some work done and found some answers to our testing items.
“The weather is obviously unfortunate, but there’s nothing we can do about it and it’s the same conditions for everyone. In these conditions, I would say today was a good day.”