Hamilton returns to track action with Mercedes after news of Ferrari switch for 2025
Lewis Hamilton was one of four drivers involved in a pre-season tyre test at the Circuito de Jerez in southern Spain this week, giving Pirelli the chance to gather some valuable data.
Mercedes and Aston Martin were the two teams who took part in the two-day session with 2023-specification cars, helping F1’s sole tyre supplier with their goal of minimising overheating for the 2025 season.
Hamilton got into the cockpit on Tuesday, just a few days after the shock announcement that he will swap Mercedes for Ferrari at the end of the year, with fellow world champion Fernando Alonso joining him on track.
On Wednesday, it was the turn of their team mates, George Russell and Lance Stroll, to rack up the laps, eventually leaving Pirelli with more than 2,500 kilometres worth of running to evaluate in the weeks ahead.
Amid pleasant Spring temperatures across the two days, Russell clocked 158 laps and a best time of 1m 18.259s, Alonso 156 laps and a 1m 18.752s, Hamilton 126 laps and a 1m 18.936s and Stroll 156 laps and a 1m 19.130s – all with no particular relevance given the different programmes being conducted.
It followed a similar test comparing different combinations of compounds and structures with Ferrari at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya last week.
Speaking after the conclusion of the Jerez test, Pirelli Motorsport Director Mario Isola commented: “We had two very productive days of testing, which – together with Barcelona last week – allowed to gather a lot of data.
“First of all, I’d like to thank all the teams involved up to now, for their support in lending us their factory drivers; whose feedback is always very useful and precise.
“We worked principally on ways to reduce overheating, which is always one of the most delicate aspects of tyre management with the current range, but also on a few different structural concepts.
“Now we’re going to analyse all the information carefully to work out the next steps in terms of development for next year, starting off with a few interesting points that have emerged from our running so far.”