Winter Testing: Barcelona F1 – Day 3
The penultimate day – Day 3 of winter testing is here and you can see all the details from the day along with feedback from the drivers following their sessions. As we all know, winter testing doesn’t provide the most accurate results and things will undoubtedly change for the 2019 Formula 1 season but it’s nice to see cars on-track, action and the different times being set.
Let’s take a look at what drivers had to say following Day 3 of winter testing in Barcelona, at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.
For Mercedes, as with all the testing days, both their drivers have been taking part and today, the team continued to prove it’s reliability with the team bringing home a total of 182 laps in Barcelona.
Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas both completed race distances in the car, with the team checking the work on it’s aerodynamic programme and systems checks.
This morning, it was Valtteri Bottas who was behind the wheel – completing an entire race distance and gathering aero data for the team.
In the afternoon, Lewis Hamilton drove the car with the afternoon session – also completing a full-race distance and focusing on various systems checks.
The Mercedes-Benz Power Units completed a total of 1266km today – a great result for the team. Tomorrow, Lewis Hamilton will be taking over the morning session with Valtteri Bottas behind the wheel for the afternoon session.
Valtteri Bottas: “Similar to the last two days, we did some more aero measurements in the morning. After that we completed a full race distance for the first time in the new car, 66 laps in a row without any issues.”
“We’re learning more and more about the W10 and it again felt better than the day before. There’s still room for improvement, but we’re making progress every day.”
Lewis Hamilton: “We got a lot of mileage in again today, both Valtteri and myself completed a whole race distance, so it’s been a good day for reliability. We have been digging deep, trying to understand the car, pretty much the same as the beginning of every year.”
“I love that challenge of coming back each year; getting into a new car is like meeting someone new – you don’t know the good and bad and the journey you go on with that car is a real privileged position.”
“It’s crazy to think this is my seventh season with the team, and this looks like it is going to be the most challenging year of our partnership so I’m super excited. I love racing so nothing really changes there.”
James Allison: “Both drivers completed trouble-free race distances today and it was another very productive day for us in terms of knowing how hard we can lean on the tyres in these conditions.”
“It’s all part of building the foundation for the week that will follow and it’s good to have those race distances tucked away so early in the test – leaving us able to focus a little bit more on performance tomorrow. Most of that work will come in the following week.”
Today, for Ferrari, it was Sebastian Vettel who was back behind the wheel of the Scuderia Ferrari SF90 – the third and penultimate day of the first Formula 1 pre-season test.
The driver completed 80 laps in the morning followed by another 54 laps in the afternoon and so far, the SF90 has done 460 laps at the Barcelona-Catalunya Circuit.
The morning session began with a first run to check that all of the car components were functioning properly. Then, the team got down to work – looking at the set-up and evaluating the tyres along with simulating various phases of a race.
Today, Vettel set his fastest time of 1:18.350 – just before lunch break which seems to be a trend for Ferrari.
Sebastian Vettel: “It was good to be back in the car today and put more mileage under my belt. Again, we had a busy day and managed to complete our programme which included a few new items.”
“We managed to try a few things and change things around – focusing on the set-up of the car and I can only confirm the positive impression that I had on day one. Now, with 303 laps in the bag, I feel comfortable to say they we, the team, are satisfied with how the car is progressing.”
Tomorrow, Charles Leclerc will be back in the season, driving the SF90 and next week – at the same track, there will be a final four days of testing prior to the start of the 2019 Formula 1 season which kicks-off in Australia, Melbourne on the 17th March.
Red Bull Racing
For Red Bull Racing, it was Max Verstappen who was back in the RB15 for another day’s work – bringing home 109 laps.
The team then began to push on and really explore the capabilities of the 2019 F1 car for the RBR team. In the afternoon, Max Verstappen then progressed to longer runs – allowing the team to go through their set-ups and collect the relevant data.
Max Verstappen: “I think today was really positive. Whenever you do more than 100 laps at a test – you know it’s a good day. I’m happy with the way we’re working together with Honda so far, it’s very focused and everybody knows their job.”
“What’s most important is that we have completed a lot of laps and investigated many set-up changes. With different regulations, you have to understand what direction to go in and that’s exactly what we’re doing.”
So far, it’s really difficult to judge where we are compared to the other teams – that’s something that we’ll find out in Melbourne but at the moment, the car feels good.”
Head of Race Engineering Guillaume Rocquelin: “Today, we switched to a different rear-wing which is more suited to this current circuit. That put us in the right ballpark for this track and allowed us to get a better understanding of what the car can do.”
“We managed to make a lot of set-up changes throughout the afternoon and the performance improved so we’re quite happy with how we ended the day.”
After a successful day with Lando Norris, today, it was Carlos Sainz who was behind the wheel of the MCL34. The morning session started at around 11:00 as the overnight changes meant preparation work for the car took some extra time to complete.
Once the car was ready, Carlos was quickly able to get up to speed before the mandatory lunch break which stopped the proceedings.
After lunch, the team returned again with longer runs and pit-stops in the afternoon.
Carlos Sainz: “Today was a bit more of a challenging day as we made a few changes on the car overnight and this delayed our start whilst we finished preparing everything.”
“We still managed to complete almost a race distance and we’ve already seen the benefits from the information which we’ve gathered.”
“Throughout the day, we have picked up valuable data from the longer runs especially and now, we can continue with some smooth running for Lando (Norris) on the final day.”
ROKiT Williams F1
Following a disappointing two days for Williams, today, the team was out on track with George Russell driving the FW42 for the first time.
George Russell: “It was amazing to finally drive the FW42. Today, we focused purely on the install laps, shaking the car down and gathering the data we could.”
“Our focus was not on performance runs so I can’t judge the overall potential of the car but I am excited that we will get a full day of running tomorrow.”
Paddy Lowe, Chief Technical Officer: “It’s very disappointing to miss two days of the first test in Barcelona but we are very happy today that we got the car out for the afternoon session.”
“We were late but not for the lack of incredible effort from the whole team both in the factory – and here at the garage. We spent the afternoon doing a number of systems checks and various data gathering programmes without any significant reliability issues so we are happy with that.”
“This puts us in good shape to get down to some more significant programmes, starting tomorrow – we have missed a lot of time but we are looking forward at this stage and we will be making the very best of the five days remaining of winter testing (1 day this week and 4 next week).”
“Thank you to all of the staff for their teamwork and dedication in getting this car out on track today.”
Tomorrow, Robert Kubica will be behind the wheel of the FW42 for the morning session before handing over to George Russell in the afternoon.