With the twelve days of pre-season testing coming to an end in Barcelona today there are now just twelve days to go until the Formula 1 cars are back on track for the first Free Practice session for the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne’s Albert Park.
On another warm and sunny day here in Spain, Daniel Ricciardo rounded off our programme, evaluating various set-ups in the morning, before completing a couple of long runs in the afternoon.
Over the course of the 12 days, split equally between Vergne and Ricciardo, the STR 8 completed a total of 4504 kilometres.
Daniel Ricciardo: “We had some shorter runs to do in the morning, during which we tried most of the tyre compounds, while getting through all the items on our job sheet. In the afternoon we managed a few long runs, which was good, as we hadn’t done many at this test, because of the bad weather. I think we learned a bit there. I’m now looking forward to Australia and hope that we’ll be able to produce some good speed at my home race.”
Laurent Mekies (Head of Vehicle Performance): “As the STR8 is fundamentally a new car, with plenty of crucial changes for example on the suspension, on the aero side and in terms of the architecture of the car, we had a very big work load to tackle this month in Spain. Even if we did not win any records for high mileage, we got through a lot of work over the three weeks on track, during which the car ran reliably, with no serious issues. Apart from our car, the other new element was the Pirelli tyres, which have different characteristics to last year’s. Getting a full understanding of how the new rubber works is something that will take longer than we had expected. Alongside these challenges, the growth of our team has involved the introduction of some new engineers and a revised organisational structure and that too was being tested over these twelve days, so it’s been a case of a very different team and a very different car.”