Hamilton: The team can be very proud of this after so much hard work 19 February, 2014 Lewis Hamilton in the Bahrain pit garage Mercedes continue to set the benchmark in Formula 1 pre-season testing, a fact that has impressed Lewis Hamilton and made him “very proud”. After his first day in the cockpit of the Mercedes W05 in Bahrain, Hamilton said, “It’s been impressive to see us start the Bahrain test with good mileage and reliability, especially when you see how difficult it is for everyone with the new regulations.” “The team can be very proud of this after so much hard work. Today was another good test of the car to see if any issues came up. We had a small issue with the brakes at the end but were still able to achieve a lot of laps today,” ventured the 2008 F1 World Champion, who is at the beginning of his second year with the Silver Arrows. Lewis Hamilton speaks to reporters On the opening day in Bahrain, Hamilton was third fastest and racked up 74 laps in the process. He reflected, “We’re not aiming to be top of the timesheets at the moment, it’s more about ticking the reliability boxes, but we can be happy with where we are before the halfway point of the pre-season tests.” “Whilst it looks like we’re doing lots of laps, it’s still a massive challenge for us and we’re still coming across issues and things that we’re finding out about the car. It looks like other people are having issues and some perhaps bigger than others.” “In the first test we were trying to get mileage on the car and not really focusing on any of the performance, but we will begin to.” Lewis Hamilton Mercedes W05 “Today was a test again of the reliability. It’s good thing; you want issues to come up because you don’t want to have them when the season starts, even though it’s kind of a downer if something stops you during the day.” “When I say we didn’t get as many laps as we’d like, we know the car can go further. But of course when you take a step away and you look at the whole picture we are at the top of the mileage. So I’m really, really happy with that,” concluded Hamilton who will sit out day two, in Bahrain, as his teammate Nico Rosberg takes over the cockpit for the day. Hamilton returns to action on Friday. (GP247) Subbed by AJN.