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Bullish Hamilton doubles down on Russell’s positive comments after first run in Mercedes W15

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BAHRAIN, BAHRAIN - FEBRUARY 22: Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and Mercedes looks on in the

Lewis Hamilton has shared another positive assessment of Mercedes’ new F1 car, describing it as a “clear improvement” over its predecessor and “much nicer to drive”.

Mercedes officially debuted their 2024 challenger with Hamilton’s team mate, George Russell, who gave an encouraging review after the first day of pre-season testing at the Bahrain International Circuit.

READ MORE: Sainz sets pace on Day 2 of pre-season testing as he improves on Leclerc’s earlier benchmark

And, having racked up his first laps with the W15 on Thursday, seven-time world champion Hamilton – who will depart the team for Ferrari at the end of the 2024 season – was quick to add his praise regarding the changes that have been made over the winter.

BAHRAIN, BAHRAIN - FEBRUARY 22: Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain driving the (44) Mercedes AMG

Hamilton took over from Russell at the wheel of the W15 on Thursday

“It was a productive day out there,” commented Hamilton, who logged 123 laps, finishing the day 1.145 seconds off the pace set by Ferrari driver Carlos Sainz.

“We gathered lots of learnings about the W15, both in our long running and single lap work. We’ve clearly made an improvement with this year’s car and it’s much nicer to drive.

WATCH: Ride onboard with Sainz as he sets the quickest time of the pre-season test so far for Ferrari

“A big thank you to everyone at [the factories in] Brackley and Brixworth for the efforts they’ve put in to deliver that over the past year. I’m really grateful for all their hard work.”

BAHRAIN, BAHRAIN - FEBRUARY 21: Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and Mercedes walks in the Paddock

Hamilton will continue in the car on Friday morning before Russell steps back in

Hamilton, who will be in the cockpit again on Friday morning, before handing over to Russell, added: “We’ve still got progress to make of course. But this is a good foundation for us to build on.

“We’ll keep our heads down and continue to work to find improvements, both over the rest of the test and into next week.”

READ MORE: Leclerc and Sainz give their verdicts on where Ferrari stand relative to Red Bull

He signed off: “I’m looking forward to being back in the car tomorrow morning and continuing that learning.”

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