Mercedes won't use softs tyres at all in first week of 2016 F1 test

Mercedes will avoid showing its hand on the final day of the opening Formula 1 pre-season test, having opted not to use any soft tyres this week, Autosport has learned

Mercedes won't use softs tyres at all in first week of 2016 F1 test

It means Lewis Hamilton will have to wait to unleash the true potential of the F1 WO7 Hybrid with Mercedes going for reliability over performance over the opening four days at Barcelona.

Asked by Autosport about the grinding out of the laps and what he felt was the potential of the car, Hamilton replied: "It's a good question. With these tyres and the car being lighter, we still have to unlock it.

"The set-up requirements are different this year, and maybe also how you make these tyres last.

"I'm just waiting for the day when we have more tyres and use the super-soft and the ultra-soft, and start unleashing it and see how it goes.

"Those are the test days I actually prefer, when you can find out what the car is like, make some set-up changes. When you're pounding round, it's less exciting."

In splitting the driving duties for the day, Nico Rosberg completed 74 laps in the morning, with Hamilton adding 88 in the afternoon for a daily total of 162.

It means Mercedes has racked up 490 laps so far, and not one of them on any of the soft compound tyres.

It will be the same for Thursday, with Hamilton to run in the morning, and Rosberg taking over the wheel in the afternoon.

Mercedes' game plan has differed starkly to that of Ferrari, with Sebastian Vettel used the ultra-soft to set the fastest lap of the week so far on Tuesday.

Asked if he was surprised by Ferrari's tactic, Hamilton replied: "I'm not surprised and I didn't even know that was the case.

"We came with a target and we're sticking to that. Everyone else has their own plan that works for them.

"I've been really happy with the plan the team has implemented in the last couple of years. It's given us great results so we'll just stick with that."

Following his stint on Monday, Hamilton complained of a sore neck and back on Tuesday - resulting in Mercedes changing its driver line-up plans for the final two days.

After his half day in the car on Wednesday, Hamilton was feeling no ill effects as he said: "Today I feel great.

"It's like going to the gym when you've not been for ages and you do a hard workout, and the next day you feel a lot of pain.

"It doesn't matter how much you work your neck, and all the different exercises you do, when you get in the car it works in a different way. You can't simulate it in the gym.

"You have physio, it's a bit bruised up for a day, but today it's great."

shares
comments
Kimi Raikkonen happier with Ferrari's 2016 Formula 1 car

Previous article

Kimi Raikkonen happier with Ferrari's 2016 Formula 1 car

Next article

Formula 1 drivers lukewarm over elimination qualifying plan

Formula 1 drivers lukewarm over elimination qualifying plan
Load comments
The 70s US superteam that tried and failed to crack F1 Plus

The 70s US superteam that tried and failed to crack F1

Vel’s Parnelli Jones Racing was briefly one of the biggest names on the US motorsports scene, but its ambition outstripped its resources. STUART CODLING relates the story of a Formula 1 campaign cut off in its prime

The key details that boosted Red Bull and held back Hamilton in Verstappen’s USA victory Plus

The key details that boosted Red Bull and held back Hamilton in Verstappen’s USA victory

As the 2021 Formula 1 title battle winds towards its climax, the United States GP added another thrilling act in the Lewis Hamilton-Max Verstappen battle. Although Hamilton aced the start, Verstappen and Red Bull took the initiative with strategy and were richly rewarded, despite Mercedes' best efforts as the race went down to the wire

Formula 1
Oct 25, 2021
US Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

US Grand Prix Driver Ratings

On a baking hot afternoon at the returning Circuit of the Americas, Formula 1 drivers were tested to their limits. As the pressure on the title contending squads reaches an ever-greater level of intensity, the foremost challengers again showed their class, but were outshone by a standout drive from the upper midfield

Formula 1
Oct 25, 2021
Why F1's misunderstood party animal will thrive in retirement Plus

Why F1's misunderstood party animal will thrive in retirement

Three years on from Kimi Raikkonen's last Grand Prix victory at Austin, he is now six races away from ending the longest Formula 1 career in history. His friend and former Ice1 Racing rally team PR man ANTHONY PEACOCK explains why there’s nobody quite like the 2007 world champion and why F1 will miss him (but he won’t miss it)

Formula 1
Oct 24, 2021
The 10 greatest drives of lost legend Jo Siffert Plus

The 10 greatest drives of lost legend Jo Siffert

It's 50 years since Jo Siffert was killed in his prime at Brands Hatch. The Swiss scored just two world championship wins in a Formula 1 career spent largely with privateer teams, but showed on numerous occasions in single-seaters and in sportscars with Porsche that he could beat any of the best drivers of his era given the right equipment

Formula 1
Oct 24, 2021
Verstappen exclusive: How Red Bull’s ace has become F1 champion material Plus

Verstappen exclusive: How Red Bull’s ace has become F1 champion material

As Red Bull and Honda go all-out for victory in the Japanese engine manufacturer’s last season of its latest Formula 1 dalliance, Max Verstappen finds himself thrust into a compelling title fight with Lewis Hamilton. He told OLEG KARPOV about his evolution into a world championship contender and why Red Bull's no compromise ethos suits him down to the ground

Formula 1
Oct 23, 2021
How Mercedes went from Austin practice domination to "very tight at the front" with Red Bull Plus

How Mercedes went from Austin practice domination to "very tight at the front" with Red Bull

Mercedes has been on a roll of late in the ultra-tight fight to win the 2021 Formula 1 world championship. It started off well in practice at Austin for this weekend’s US Grand Prix, but Red Bull got closer as Friday unfolded and even seemed to find an edge in one critical area of what seems set to be another close contest

Formula 1
Oct 23, 2021
The six critical factors that could hand F1 2021 glory to Hamilton or Verstappen Plus

The six critical factors that could hand F1 2021 glory to Hamilton or Verstappen

The 2021 Formula 1 title battle is finely poised with six races remaining, as just six points separate championship leader Max Verstappen from seven-time champion Lewis Hamilton. In such a closely-fought season, the outcome could hinge on several small factors playing the way of Red Bull or Mercedes

Formula 1
Oct 22, 2021