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2018 F1

Mileage is king in F1 testing, Hamilton misses out 2nd day

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Reigning world champion Lewis Hamilton had been scheduled to take to the wheel of his Mercedes at the Circuit de Catalunya on Tuesday afternoon before his team changed their minds.

The Brit completed only 25 laps here on the opening day, and with snow forecast for Wednesday, there is risk Hamilton could miss out on further valuable mileage.

Mercedes say they did not want to waste minutes swapping their drivers around after losing track time in the morning following the cold conditions. The regular one-hour lunch break was also scrapped due to the poor weather.

Hamilton’s motorhome is parked adjacent to the Mercedes’ hospitality suite in the paddock, and he remained at the circuit despite his non-track appearance.

“Valtteri Bottas will continue to drive to maximise our mileage after the poor track conditions limited running this morning,” Mercedes tweeted.

“Mileage is king in F1 testing, so we want to make the most of the current conditions. A driver swap would require switching seat, pedals, even stickers when we could be out on track.”

“I didn’t really get the chance to push in the car and go up to top speeds as the conditions were so bad,” Hamilton said as he reflected on his short run-out on Monday.

“It’s hard for me to say a whole lot about the car because I did not drive it for a long time, but the initial feeling is good.”

Sebastian Vettel in his sleek new Ferrari registered the fastest time Tuesday on a snow-curtailed second day of testing, edging out Valtteri Bottas of arch-rival Mercedes.

The German, was 0.303sec faster than the Finn in freezing conditions as a McLaren, driven by Belgian Stoffel Vandoorne, came third before snow cut the day short at the Circuit de Catalunya.

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