Williams' Russian driver Sergey Sirotkin drives at the Circuit de Catalunya on March 1, 2018 in Montmelo on the outskirts of Barcelona during the fourth day of the first week of tests for the Formula One Grand Prix season. / AFP / Josep LAGO
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Lewis Hamilton declared his new Mercedes to be the big sister of last year's temperamental title winner but Formula One's first pre-season test of 2018 still left plenty of room for conjecture.The four-times world champion, who can expect to start the campaign in Australia on March 25 as a favorite, said bad weather, a resurfaced and smoother track and heavier cars had made comparisons tricky.Hamilton was fastest over the opening four days at Barcelona's Circuit de Catalunya with a lap of one minute 19.333 seconds on Thursday, after snow and rain blew out Wednesday's track action.The second, and final, four-day test in Barcelona starts next Tuesday.One certainty is that the cars are heavier to handle as a result of the new halo head protection device, which adds at least another seven kilograms.
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