Lewis Hamilton will return to the cockpit of his Mercedes tomorrow determined to clock up the miles following a wretched start to his career with the team.
Hamilton managed just 15 laps on his track debut for the Brackley-based team yesterday before a rear-brake failure at 160mph pitched him into a tyre barrier and out of the remainder of the second day of the season-opening test at the Circuito de Jerez.
Given team-mate Nico Rosberg completed only 14 laps on Tuesday after his car sustained an electrical failure, it has been a rough start for a Mercedes team under pressure to deliver results.
Hamilton, however, was in a bullish mood following his accident which he described as nothing more than ‘a blip’, despite knowing he has to maximise his time in the car before the season-opening Australian Grand Prix on March 17.
“Mercedes are already ahead of where they were last year when they didn’t even have the new car here (at the first test in Jerez),” said Hamilton.
“It’s an improvement and a step forward already, so we can’t really complain.
“We’ve lots of tyres, so Nico needs to be the first out today, and we just need to hammer it and try and get in as many laps as possible.
“If we can do 110 to 120 laps per day over the next two days then that would be a good comeback.
“For me, I will be in early, go to the meeting in the morning and listen to the guys (over the team radio) during the day, maybe go training and chill a little.
“The important thing is not to get fazed by the days we’ve had this week. You have to keep looking forward and remain positive.
“The guys in the garage are obviously trying to avoid the problems we’ve had. They are working as hard as they can, back at the factory too.”
Despite the limited amount of running, Hamilton was at least able to get a feel for the car, which he expressed himself to be “quite happy with”.
However, in contrast to his McLaren of last year, the 28-year-old has noticed an obvious and startling difference he will now be hopeful the team can resolve.
“I’m pushing the aero guys as hard as I can because I need more aero for sure,” said Hamilton.
“Coming from a McLaren that was so competitive last year which had incredible downforce, you definitely notice the difference.”
As for the issues that have plagued the car so far, Hamilton has no doubts they will be resolved, with his confidence in the W04 far from dented.
“They (the technical people) have to look at the design and ensure it doesn’t happen again, and I have total confidence they will do that,” said Hamilton.
“Obviously I wanted to be driving. We were looking at the computer and seeing other people doing 70 or 80 laps and we should be doing the same.
“We just need to find out what solutions we can grab and hold on to them.”