This was Kevin’s last opportunity to sample the MP4-29 before Australia. His morning’s running was interrupted by a small problem that required a long stop to cure – nonetheless, like Jenson yesterday [Friday], he was able to get back on track before the end of the morning’s session, and got a sizeable number of laps under his belt before the end of the day.
The afternoon’s programme also enabled Kevin to run through a simulation of a race weekend, including the opportunity to run some fast laps on softer tyres, and also to try a race simulation – albeit one hit by a red-flag stoppage and a visit to the pits.
Speaking afterwards, he said: “We had some electrical problems in the morning, but sorted them pretty quickly, and complete most of today’s run-programme. Today’s laptimes from both Williams and Mercedes look very quick, but I don’t think any of the teams have been running to identical programmes, so it’s still hard to say.
“As a team, we’re not quite there yet, but we have more to come. Our car feels like it has potential – unlike last year’s car, where you could feel its problems when you were driving. This year, it feels like an F1 car.
“In terms of preparation, you always feel like you can do more – if we had more time, we wouldn’t stop! But, from a driving perspective, I think I’ve got all the basics covered in order to go out there and do a race. I don’t feel uncomfortable going into a grand prix now – I feel that I know all the procedures, I know what’s important, and I know what to focus on in a race weekend. And that’s really positive.
“It’s a very special feeling knowing that the next time I get in the car, it’ll be in Australia. I’ve got a big job ahead of me, but I’m pretty excited. I feel ready.”
Subbed by AJN.