After many hours spent driving the RB10 in the team’s simulator Test and Reserve driver Sébastien Buemi got his first taste of the real thing at the Circuit de Catalunya today as Infiniti Red Bull Racing began its second in-season test of the current campaign in Barcelona.
It wasn’t altogether smooth running for the Swiss driver, however, as the morning session was conducted in wet weather conditions and then in the afternoon a mechanical failure ended his day’s work with 54 laps on the board.
“It was the first day for me in the RB10 and I experienced a bit of dry and a bit of wet, which was good,” said Sébastien. “We mainly concentrated on trying to understand the car better after the weekend and trying to improve it. We also worked on some correlation with the simulator, as I spend a lot of time in that. Then we had a gearbox problem, which stopped us, but otherwise it was a decent day. As ever, it was really about gathering data. We don’t get many opportunities for this type of testing so it’s important to get as much information as possible.”
Commenting on the day’s running, Race Engineering Co-ordinator Andy Damerum said: “We were in a good place first thing this morning with the car all set to run, but unfortunately the weather got in the way a bit. We moved things around on the schedule and managed to get what I’d called a lot of ‘stocking filler’ jobs done, but we really would have preferred dry running. We had Sébastien Buemi in the car today and he spends quite a bit of time in the simulator, so we wanted to give him a proper feel for the new car and do some correlation work to make sure that what’s happening in the simulator and what’s happening on the track is the same. Of course the race drivers use the simulator as well but it’s Sébastien who does the lion’s share of that work. We were able to do quite a bit of work in that area when the weather improved, which was good. We were also running a lot of other test items today, all of which are aimed at improving the package as a whole, so what with the weather it was quite a complex day. It was then made more complicated by the mechanical failure, which prevented us doing any more running. Sebastian Vettel takes over tomorrow and we have quite a packed programme so hopefully we’ll get in a full day’s running.”