Hamilton wants to build on 'pretty good' Mercedes performance at first F1 test

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Lewis Hamilton has called on Mercedes to keep pushing after a "pretty good" first week of Formula 1 testing.

For the second time in three days, the reigning world champions finished first and second on the timesheet, with Valtteri Bottas only three-tenths slower than his pole time from last year's Spanish Grand Prix with the fastest lap of the week.

For Hamilton though, laps were more important and after completing the most of anyone with 273, the Briton was more than pleased.

"It’s been a great effort from the team and great to see that the reliability is as strong as it is," he said.

"The car has felt pretty good out there, it’s been a solid first week and we’ve got some good mileage.

"It’s a true showing of all the incredible work everyone has done back at the factory and here at the track. I’m really proud of everyone.

"We’ve got to keep working hard, analyse all the data from this week and figure out how we can move the car forward and build on everything next week."

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As for Bottas, the opportunity to stretch the legs of the W11 was welcome and he was satisfied with the progress made.

"It’s been really fun today, especially getting to do some shorter runs and being able to push the car a little bit closer to the limits, seeing a little bit more of the performance of the car," he said.

"I enjoyed it and it felt really good out there. It feels like we made a step with the set-up since yesterday, the car is very driveable and I’m sure with some more hard work next week, we can make it better, which will be the goal.

"Overall, it’s been a really good first test, we have made some improvements every day with the car. A big well done to every single team member to deliver the car and engine – great job! I’m looking forward to getting back in the car next week."

Mercedes technical director James Allison has had a smile on his face for much of the week in Barcelona and teased more would be to come in the second test after the "quick glimpse" on the C5 Pirelli tyre.

"It’s been a good first week, the car has been broadly reliable and the performance has been reasonably good throughout the week," he added.

"There are, of course, many things to work on and we’ll be trying to do that in week two, but it’s a really good baseline.

"At the end of this first week, we start to get some sort of feeling for where all the teams are in the pecking order and especially now a few race distances have gone down.

"But it will be really interesting in the second week as our estimates start to refine further."