Lewis Hamilton puts in the miles after Nicole Scherzinger break-up

Lewis Hamilton hailed Mercedes’ first pre-season test ahead of the new Formula One season as "pretty special" after the team sent the lap counter into a frenzy in Jerez this week.

Lewis Hamilton puts in the miles after Nicole Scherzinger break-up

On a day when Hamilton’s private life was again brought into focus, the 30-year-old brushed his latest break-up with on-off celebrity girlfriend Nicole Scherzinger aside by pounding out the miles yesterday.

A spin when the circuit was damp after having just fitted slick tyres was the only blot on Hamilton’s copybook, but the reigning champion still racked up 117 laps and 208 overall for his two days behind the wheel of the W06-Hybrid.

Throw in team-mate Nico Rosberg’s 308 laps and Mercedes have amassed 516 overall for a grand total of 2,285 kilometres (1,419 miles) — the equivalent of travelling from London to Kiev in the Ukraine.

To put that into further context, the number of laps is one more than the combined total for two of their biggest rivals in Ferrari (349) and Red Bull (166).

“Paddy (Lowe, technical executive director) just said it has been the highest week of mileage,” said Hamilton. “Nico had good days with over 150 laps on each and I averaged 100 laps, so it’s great to see the work put in by all the guys in the garage.

“We’ve put some decent mileage on the car this week and although you always want more, the reliability has been pretty special.”

All media were warned before interviewing Hamilton that any questions on his split with Scherzinger were off limits.

Unlike in the past when Hamilton has worn his heart on his sleeve and appeared forlorn, on this occasion there was no outward sign of heartbreak.

For the Briton, it was just another day in his office, with lap time irrelevant as not once has a Mercedes been top of the standings on any of the four days.

On the final day in Jerez, Hamilton was third quickest behind Kimi Raikkonen in his Ferrari and Sauber’s Marcus Ericsson.

Raikkonen’s lap of one minute 20.841secs was the quickest this week, with the Finn also racking up the laps with 106 in total, narrowly behind Ericsson, who managed 112, and Hamilton.

Concluding a positive test for Ferrari, who finished out in front on three of the four days, Raikkonen said: “The times don’t mean much. The lap time can be anything, but we’ve a good amount of laps and things are working, we’re not really having many issues, just a few small things.

“That’s the main thing, so the feeling is pretty fine which is good.”

Toro Rosso’s rookie 17-year-old Max Verstappen managed a positive 97 laps as he continues to build ahead of becoming the youngest driver to take part in a grand prix on March 15 in Australia.

Williams’ Felipe Massa, who hailed Mercedes as “amazing”, was 2.2secs down in fifth, managing only 73 laps, but with no issues.

Meanwhile, Justin King’s planned takeover of Marussia will likely stand or fall on a vote to be taken by the Formula One Strategy Group today.

Marussia, renamed as Manor Grand Prix on the FIA entry list for 2015 when it was recently published, is due to emerge from administration on February 19.

The Strategy Group comprises of the five top teams in Ferrari, Mercedes, Red Bull, McLaren and Williams, along with Force India, the FIA and Bernie Ecclestone.

Each team has one vote, while the FIA and Ecclestone have six apiece and a simple majority is needed to either pass or block the motion.

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