Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel, also a four-times champion and last year's runner-up to Hamilton, has already said that Hamilton and Mercedes will be favourites when the season starts in Australia on March 25. You go to drivers' briefings and there are constantly complaints of bumps, but you can manoeuvre around bumps and you can brake a bit off line, or you have to set the car up to deal with it better in terms of ride.
The lunch break was once again disposed of to give the teams extra running, and after a few laps of seeing what Hulkenberg and Bottas could do on the slicks, the other teams began to follow suit, with Hulkenberg initially leading the way before Vandoorne emerged on a hypersoft shod McLaren to take top spot.
His reward could be the move to Red Bull for 2019, as he is only 'on loan' to Renault this year.
While he faced a number of questions about the coming season, Hamilton says his mind is not yet on his title defence even though he acknowledges the importance of the work done during testing.
"We managed the majority of our running on the first morning and then the final afternoon, with a lot of rain, sleet and even snow in-between, so it hasn't been a normal week of testing for anyone".
The Spanish Grand Prix venue was resurfaced ahead of pre-season testing in a move criticised as a "waste of money" by Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton, who said the circuit had "lost its character" as a result.
"That's what teams like to see", he told El Mundo Deportivo. I think ultimately for me and my mindset, if I am at my best then I should have no problems. I'd assume so and he's going to be in the best shape possible. However, he only completed 65 laps in total, leaving Force India with the least mileage of all ten teams at the end of the first test with just 166 laps.
Expect Verstappen to have say in the title battle too.
"So it's the same thing with a track".
Bottas certainly seemed to be settling into the seat as the season progressed and finished the season in style by taking the chequered flag in Abu Dhabi.
The second and final pre-season test starts on Tuesday at Barcelona's Circuit de Catalunya.
"I don't prepare myself and hope the next guy has issues so I can capitalise on them, I want them to be at their best because it's more painful then if you do outperform them". You have to be convinced that will be the case.
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