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Hamilton pleased after maiden MP4-23 run 10 Jan 2008

Lewis Hamilton tests the McLaren Mercedes MP4-23 for the first time. McLaren MP4-23. First Test, Jerez, Spain, 10 January 2008. © McLaren. Lewis Hamilton tests the McLaren Mercedes MP4-23 for the first time. McLaren MP4-23. First Test, Jerez, Spain, 10 January 2008. © McLaren. Heikki Kovalainen (ESP) tests the McLaren Mercedes MP4-23 for the first time. McLaren MP4-23 First Test, Jerez, Spain, 9 January 2008. © McLaren

McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton is feeling positive after completing his first laps in the team’s 2008 challenger, the MP4-23, on Thursday. Hamilton was in action at Jerez alongside new team mate Heikki Kovalainen, as the British squad continued their three-day private test at the Spanish circuit.

“It was fantastic to get my hands on the MP4-23 this morning in Jerez,” said the 23 year-old. “I saw the completed car for the first time on Monday at the team's launch in Stuttgart and I have been pretty impatient since then! My first run was at 09:10 and my first impressions are encouraging.

“I covered over 103 laps, which is 456kms, today. Considering this is only the second day the car has been on track, I am pretty happy with that. We have a lot of work to do, but now we have a real understanding of where we are starting from. I will be back in the MP4-23 with Heikki tomorrow and I am looking forward to continuing the programme and moving forward.”

Kovalainen, who got his first taste of the new car on Wednesday, alongside tester Pedro de la Rosa, was equally pleased with his own progress.

“Today was my second day with the MP4-23 and I have now been able to complete over 447kms in total,” said the Finn. “We are all still spending time learning about the car and starting to get used to it. That we were on track for 204 laps in total today is definitely helping us to learn and progress with the car.

“For me in particular the car is very different from last year, and I have been focusing on that side of things. Settling into the team has been very easy.”

Hamilton clocked the day’s best time, a 1m 19.132s, while Kovalainen's best lap was completed in 1m 19.462s. The duo will continue to test at the track on Friday.