Defending World Champion Lewis Hamilton was the first car out on the track this morning, testing his new Mercedes for the upcoming F1 2016 season. The Brit didn’t waste any time trying out the new car that he hopes will bring him his third consecutive championship this year. Hamilton was one of 11 drivers scheduled to test out their cars Monday, the first of four days of testing at the Circuit de Barcelona in Catalunya.
Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel, who placed third last year, was also on the track, as well as Jenson Button, hoping to discover a much-improved McLaren after disappointing results last season.
Hamilton’s teammate Nico Rosberg will be testing out his car on Tuesday, as will Fernando Alonso, Button’s teammate.
The first day of tests take place nearly three months after the final race in Abu Dhabi, which began on a damp track under overcast skies in the capital.
Mercedes have dominated the last two F1 seasons, and with no major changes in regulations for 2016, are expected to be the ones to watch in the upcoming season. The test sessions taking place should highlight if any of its rivals have made significant improvements over the time off.
Most of the teams have already launched their cars over social media, but some chose to wait and made their official presentation to the media in the pit lane, with the drivers posing for photographs before the testing took place. Amongst them were new team Haas, the first American-led team in the sport since 1986, and Renault, who took over financially stuggling Lotus. Mercedes and Force India also introduced their cars at the track.
The final test sessions for the 2016 season are scheduled for March 1-4, also taking place in Barcelona. The first of 21 races of 2016 is on March 20 in Australia.
Pictures from formula1.com