Hamilton, the triple world champion, turned in 99 laps before lunch on Thursday to take his tally for the week to 342 – which equates to more than five race distances.
The Briton had already been earmarked as the favourite to win a third consecutive championship, and there has been little evidence this week to suggest that Hamilton and his Mercedes team will not be the ones to beat when the season gets under way in Melbourne next month.
“It’s been an incredible week of testing for us because we’ve done more mileage than we ever had before,” said Hamilton.
“Before we came here, the team were talking about doing 800km (497 miles) a day and I was thinking they are crazy. I’ve never done that in the past.
“Usually you have breakdowns with the car. Not just for us, but for lots of people, there’s been no red flags. There’s a lot more reliability which I guess you would expect with the third year of this type of power unit.”
While the Ferrari of Kimi Raikkonen ended Thursday morning’s session on top of the timings, it is the stunning mileage clocked up by the reigning world champions which has caught the eye this week.
Hamilton, whose team-mate Nico Rosberg resumed testing duties for Mercedes after lunch, added: “It’s a really exciting time for us. I’ve never had a week like this when the car has just kept going on and on.
“It’s been physically challenging, but I’m so proud of my guys. After two really successful years it’s really easy to drop the ball and be chilled but everyone has worked even harder than before – which we thought was impossible.”
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