Lewis Hamilton was quick to heap praise upon Mercedes following an enormously productive first Formula 1 test of 2016 in Barcelona this week, calling it the best he has ever seen.
Mercedes laid down more mileage than any other team over four days at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, finishing with a total of 1,699 km as both Hamilton and teammate Nico Rosberg put the new W07 car through its paces.
Hamilton admitted that he could not believe how strong the new car was as Mercedes appear to be the early leaders once again heading into the 2016 season.
“The reliability of the car this week has been just incredible. It feels strong, it feels solid, it just keeps going and going… I’ve never seen anything like it,” Hamilton said.
“The guys and girls at Brackley and Brixworth have done an unbelievable job. After two titles in a row, it would be so easy to lose focus.
“But it’s clear that everyone is even more focused than before and have done an even better job of delivering an overall package with this car.
“In terms of today, the new front wing seems to be a step forward. It’s small increments here and there – but that’s what we’re looking for. There’s not much of a cliff with the tires. They behave very similarly to last year’s in that respect.
“It’s been a gruelling week for the whole team – running between 150 and 190 laps every day. But I’d say it’s probably been the best test we’ve ever had. Certainly the best I’ve ever seen.”
Mercedes opted to split both Wednesday and Thursday between Hamilton and Rosberg, giving one the morning session before handing over to the other for the afternoon.
Rosberg enjoyed the final run of the first test on Thursday, and echoed Hamilton’s thoughts.
“It’s been a great start. Reliability is looking very, very good and the car feels quick,” he said.
“It’s great even to look at. You take a walk around it and there’s some real innovation there. You can really see how far we’ve come as a team these past few years – it’s very impressive.
“I can’t wait to see what it can do when we get to qualifying in Melbourne.”
Pre-season testing resumes in Barcelona on Tuesday.
Golden did more to break the glass ceiling in SuperMotocross than she ever thought possible. She knows this because riders have never felt the need to explain any of her accomplishments with the disclaimer, “for a girl”.
At this point in Golden’s career, she’s been the first woman to finish top 10 in AMA Arenacross Lites, the first woman to qualify in the Fast 40 in Monster Energy AMA Supercross and the first woman to compete in freestyle Moto X competition, earning a bronze medal by doing so.
Her love for moto came from childhood while she watched her dad and brother ride. By seven she was on her bike and making waves throughout Southern California.
Golden, 30, is still madly in love with the sport and has no plans on moving away but her career is already one to talk about. 805 Beer’s film series wanted to do exactly that.
“I’m taken aback by it all,” Golden told NBC Sports about the documentary. “It’s just crazy to see your story, it’s one thing to live your life and battle everything that comes about but it’s another to just sit there and talk about it.”
805 approached Golden about the feature by asking, “Do you even realize that what you do, and your story is special?”
Golden took the question as a blank canvas to map out the highs and lows of her career and life.
The title “Inverted Perspective” came from a brainstorming session with Dominick Russo and it highlights Golden’s outlook on the sport of SuperMotocross and her life in general.
“My whole life, my whole career was thinking differently and looking at things that shouldn’t be done and aren’t there, while being able to make a place for myself, where no one thought there should be a place,” Golden said. “It’s inspiring someone to think in different ways. It sums up my life.”
While Golden is no stranger to the spotlight, this was the first time she’s been fully involved with the storytelling and creation of a feature about herself.
“It’s not like a full new experience,” Golden said. “Obviously, you get your standard questions about your upbringing and accomplishments, but I’ve never really put into perspective things that happened in my past with my dad and putting that to light. Also, certain other things that maybe got overlooked in previous interviews or films. I wanted to touch on these and Dom wanted to create a story. It’s just cool to see it come to light, it’s a nearly impossible thing to tell somebody’s life story in 40 minutes.”
Golden’s father was left paralyzed after an ATV accident, robbing him the opportunity to ride again. This happened a few months before the father-daughter duo was set to compete in the Loretta Lynn’s Amateur Nationals when Vicki was 12. While she might have been unable to grasp the severity at the time, it’s something she carries with her. Golden continues to ride in his honor.
Years later, an accident in 2018 nearly sidelined the then 25-year-old Vicki when a freestyle accident almost resulted in the amputation of her lower leg.
“Inverted Perspective” highlights her father’s diligence in helping Vicki continue with her career and the kindness and strength he carried while fighting his own battle.
“My dad was the entire reason that I started riding in the first place,” Golden said. “So, to honor his memory and to honor what we went through and how hard he pushed to keep our dream alive and keep everything going – in that sense then, it was really special to be able to honor him and talk about him.”
The 40-minute feature was filmed entirely in black and white, a stark contrast from the oversaturated world of motocross where the brighter the suit the easier it is for fans to find their rider and follow him in the race. By filming in monochrome Russo and Golden had the chance to focus on the race and track from a different perspective.
“It was cool to be able to film it differently,” Golden said. “It created a challenge in the sense of what was going to be more visually impactful for the film.
“I couldn’t be here without the companies that back me but at the same time, it’s not like the logos or colors disappeared, it’s just different lights shed on different spots. It’s just a cool way to do it and to take color away and still be impactful. When you think of black and white, you think of old school, the OG way of doing things.”