RACE DEBRIEF

    Mercedes have so far looked formidable at pre-season testing in Barcelona, but their programme was interrupted when Lewis Hamilton ground to a halt out on track just after the lunch break on Thursday afternoon.

    The Silver Arrows looked to have picked up where they left off from last season with the new W11 car, which has clocked up an impressive number of laps at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunuya – and set the fastest lap time of testing so far in the hands of Valtteri Bottas.

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    The Finn added another 47 laps to the tally on Thursday morning, before handing over to Hamilton for the afternoon. But the world champ managed only 14 laps before he pulled the W11 over to the side of the track at Turn 6, apparently having lost power.

    The car was recovered to the pits on a flatbed truck, and Mercedes later revealed the problem meant the end of their running for the day.

    A spokesman for the team said: "We’ve experienced an oil pressure anomaly, which made the engine shut down as a precautionary measure.

    1209041384
    Lewis Hamilton had to catch a lift back to the pits after his car stopped out on track

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    "We’re further investigating the issue; unfortunately, that means our running for today is done."

    Mercedes now have one day of testing left on Friday, before the curtain comes down on pre-season and preparations begin for the first race of 2020 in Australia next month.

    Hamilton said he would be back in the car on Friday. "I only got 14 laps in today, but during those 14 laps, everything was feeling fine," he said. "It's obviously not ideal that we didn't get a full day of running in and we experienced this issue, but there are lots of learnings to take from today.

    "Rather than looking at the negatives, we've discovered some things we need to work on, and we'll keep pushing hard to resolve them and keep working away. I'm looking forward to being back in the car tomorrow morning and adding to the mileage we've already achieved."

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