Hamilton makes debut with no. 1

UPDATE While the weather was markedly improved over the previous two days, the morning remained damp, requiring the continued use of an ’08-spec rear wing and intermediate tires. The team was briefly hampered at lunchtime by a precautionary engine systems shutdown, which was quickly rectified without the need to change the unit.

Hamilton in the new McLaren MP4-24

In the afternoon, conditions sufficiently improved to allow an ’09-spec rear wing and several sets of slicks to be bolted to the car, resulting in Lewis’s best time of 1m30.242. Lewis said: "It was good to be back working with the team – it felt like I’d hardly been away because it was easy to slip back into the routine. It’s amazing to think that, while I’ve been to Woking throughout the winter, I haven’t properly driven a Formula 1 car since the Brazilian Grand Prix two months ago, but everything very quickly felt normal today.

"This first test was all about just getting used to the new car and the new regulations and about giving my feedback to the engineers; it wasn’t about setting a fast time. I’m pleased to report that the car feels good, we’ve made lots of progress over the winter and I’m looking forward to developing the car ahead of the Australian Grand Prix.

"It’s going to be an extremely busy winter. I’ve only been in the car for one day and our usual joblist for the weeks ahead is already enormous. With the limitations on testing during the season, and the few sessions we have over the next two months, this is going to be an intense time and absolutely critical for every team."

01/21/09 (GMM) Lewis Hamilton made his debut outing with the number '1' as he returned to test action on Wednesday morning.

On his first drive since winning the 2008 championship in Brazil last November, and therefore getting his first taste of the newly launched MP4-24, the 24-year-old Briton joined the test action at the Portimao circuit in Portugal.

Hamilton said he has enjoyed his extended break, and has taken a few moments to reflect on his achievement. "I am world champion and it is a great feeling," he said at the car's recent launch.

"I have got to embrace that and carry it with me."

Hopes are high for a better day of weather following the disastrous conditions on Tuesday, but Hamilton's opening laps were affected by a sodden track, despite the sun shining through the clouds on occasion.

The team is also still using the wider and lower 2008-spec rear wing, ostensibly as a "precautionary measure to increase downforce" in the conditions.

It is further understood that the KERS system on Hamilton's car is not being used on Wednesday.

Also getting his first taste of his 2009 mount on Wednesday was former double world champion Fernando Alonso, at the wheel of the Renault R29 that is quickly gaining the nickname 'bullnose' because of its unique front treatment.

Toyota and Williams are also running their new cars this week and again on Wednesday, while Sebastien Buemi still occupies the cockpit of the 2008-specification Toro Rosso.

Social Media Auto Publish Powered By : XYZScripts.com