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Hamilton fastest as the rain (and hail) hits Spain. (with pictures)

NEWS STORY
22/02/2013

Lewis Hamilton topped the timesheets on the final day of the second pre-season test however, the day's running was badly hit by the weather as rain, and even hail, caused red flags aplenty.

Although the rain eased off enough for some dry running in the morning, it returned just before the lunch break and pretty much continued for the remainder of the day, indeed, at one stage - as drivers, including Mark Webber, huddled around heaters for warmth- there was even a hailstorm for good measure.

Hamilton's morning programme focused on making the most of opportunities for dry running before the rain began again in earnest. He was able to complete an 18-lap run (16 timed laps) on the medium tyre just before midday. In the wet conditions in the afternoon, the team focused on systems checks and tyre evaluations. A stop on track around half-an-hour before the end of the session brought out the eighth of nine red flags witnessed over the course of the day.

"The conditions today meant that we didn't complete as many laps we would have done in the dry," said Hamilton, "but we have gone through the test items that we wanted to achieve this week.

"We have been working on our consistency over long runs and we managed one run this morning on dry tyres; the car felt okay but the conditions were also very cool, so we cannot draw too many conclusions.

"Like I said in Jerez, I can feel that we have a good foundation with this car but there is still a lot to learn and we know that the name of the game is to improve our downforce. From a personal point of view, my relationship with the team is growing all the time and it's going really well. I'm happy working with the guys, we are working in the right direction together and I'm pushing to extract the most from the team, just like they are with me."

"Overall, we've had a good week in Barcelona and achieved the programme that we set ourselves for this second test," added Ross Brawn. "The rain today was a little unfortunate; however we made the best of the conditions and were still able to take some useful data out of the day.

"Nico and Lewis are becoming more familiar with the car and its behaviour as each day progresses, and Lewis is settling into the team very well. Both drivers are providing excellent feedback which is pushing the development of the car both here and at the factory, and it is very rewarding to see their enthusiasm and commitment.

"We now have just four days of testing left until the first race in Australia, and a lot of work will be done before we return to Barcelona next week."

Button, one of the few drivers not to cause a red flag today, conducted only one single run on slicks however, the Woking the team completed a full programme and was pleased with progress.

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