Lewis Hamilton returned to Formula 1 test action on Wednesday, commenting that he felt no rustiness since returning to the cockpit.
Hamilton enjoyed his first outing since February on Wednesday after team-mate Valtteri Bottas completed running the previous day.
Mercedes used the W09 car from 2018, as teams are prohibited from test running with cars less than two years old.
Speaking through Mercedes’ social media channels, Hamilton said it felt “just great to be back in the car” and that the day was “a lot of fun”.
“When you leave the garage the first time, you get this buzz, and it doesn’t matter how many years you do it, it always feels new and fresh.
“Obviously this is an older car, but it still felt fantastic. We got through a solid programme today.
“Valtteri’s day was dry, my day started of wet, so quite a greasy Silverstone track. But obviously I grew up in this kind of weather, so I’m used to it. I was still able to get a good feel of the car. “
While some drivers have aired concerns regarding seat time heading into the season-opener in Austria, Hamilton said he felt no such issues in his return to the cockpit.
“I didn’t feel like I’ve ever left the water, so that’s a positive.
“I think every time you take a big break – I think it’s been 103 days or something – you always wonder whether you can still drive.
“So, it’s a good feeling to know of course I can, I’m ready, I feel fit. I hope you guys are all well and excited for what’s coming up.”
The test also gave Mercedes an opportunity to practice the COVID-19 protocols that will be enforced due to the pandemic. All team members are required to wear masks and adhere to strict social distancing guidelines in the garage.
Mercedes and Ferrari are the only teams known to be conducting tests with previous F1 cars while Racing Point will conduct a film day with the 2020 car.