Formula One 2018: Pre-Season Testing Recap - Day 2

Reigning Formula 1 world champion Lewis Hamilton says conditions on the opening day of pre-season testing made it hard to draw any real conclusions from his 2018 Mercedes challenger. As a result, reigning world champion Lewis Hamilton did not take to the track and has only completed 25 laps in two days.

A fuel leak struck Max Verstappen's Red Bull and restricted the Dutchman to one installation lap.

Bottas completed a total of 94 laps and the second fastest time with a 1:19.976.

"Having run in the morning, he was comfortable in the auto already and we would have lost about an hour of running time with the driver switch", added the champion.

You look at the others, you compare a bit, but we should not get into detail too much because it's pointless. In the morning, we focused on aero work with different aero rakes on the auto, running various tests. The auto spent most of the afternoon in the garage after the engine cover showed tell-tale signs of overheating around the exhaust.

The team also missed the majority of the afternoon's running due to "a small exhaust clip break", leaving Vandoorne on 37 laps.

It follows a wheelnut failure for Fernando Alonso on Monday and means the team's lap count is just 19 laps higher than the same time past year when it was struggling with Honda reliability issues.

However, the lap was flattered by Vandoorne's use of the new-for-2018 hypersoft tyre, the quickest compound in Pirelli's expanded range. "The tires are just not made for these conditions".

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"I have learned about the new vehicle and its general behaviour, but we still need better conditions to unlock everything and really push the limits".

"Toto Wolff wants us both to be performing on a 100 per cent level, and that can provide some healthy competition". But that run was worse than being in the wet on slicks, it was worse than that! "But it's up to me if I perform on track and I will made a decision to show muscle if needed".

This in turn gives them a chance to make changes before the first race on March 25.

But with the air temperature never registering above 5C all day, Vettel - who caused a red flag when he spun and dragged gravel onto the circuit at the first sequence of corners - described the weather as "the limiting factor" on the day.

Mercedes opted to keep Valtteri Bottas in the auto for the entire day.

Sebastian Vettel climbed up to P3 after his first extended run of the day.

Teams have been considering adding an extra day to testing to compensate for the missed track time.

Robert Kubica, replacing Sergey Sirotkin the afternoon's session, was seventh with a 1:21.495 while the Russian driver was 0.327s down.

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