Hamilton encouraged by Mercedes W14 after trouble-free Silverstone F1 test
Lewis Hamilton was left upbeat following a “smooth” first run in the Mercedes W14 at Silverstone, revealing he “felt comfortable” in the team’s 2023 challenger.
Mercedes unveiled its new Formula 1 car earlier this week with a striking all-black livery that the German manufacturer previously used in 2020 and 2021.
Following a third place finish in last year’s constructors’ championship – its lowest placing for a decade – Mercedes is targeting to close the gap to Red Bull and Ferrari in 2023.
Hamilton’s team-mate George Russell gave the W14 its on-track debut in a shakedown after the launch, before both drivers both jumped in the car on Thursday for a filming day.
F1 teams are allowed up to two filming days through the season with running limited to 100km per day, allowing Hamilton and Russell to get a first taste of the car ahead of next week’s pre-season test in Bahrain.
While the test was hampered by wet conditions, Hamilton felt Mercedes had come away with some “useful findings” after an encouraging debut run.
“It has been great to get up and running with the W14. It is always a much-anticipated moment for everyone at the factory that has been working so hard; I’m incredibly grateful for all the effort that has gone in,” said Hamilton.
“The day has been smooth; we got through a good programme, and we’ve come away with some useful findings. I generally felt comfortable in the car and I’m excited to get going in Bahrain.”
Russell also gave his first initial impressions of the W14, commenting the car “ran smoothly” before adding: “We know pre-season testing in Bahrain will be the first real test of the car, nevertheless it looks great out on circuit and the feeling from within the car is so far, so good.”
Mercedes trackside engineering director Andrew Shovlin said the test marked a “solid start” for the team, as it looks ahead to making the most of all three days in Bahrain.
“We’ve had a solid start to the programme for W14,” said Shovlin. “Conditions weren’t great for filming or running but we completed the permitted 100km without any issues, and both drivers have been able to give us a good assessment of their first impressions of the car.
“Bahrain will be very different to a cold, wet Silverstone but everything seems to be working well. Hopefully we can hit the ground running next week and maximise the three days of pre-season testing that we have.”