Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas topped the timing sheets at the end of the second and final day of Formula 1 testing in Barcelona, with Ferrari reserve Antonio Giovinazzi second fastest.
Bottas’ best lap time of 1.16:904 – the fastest over two days at Circuit de Catalunya – was set on the Pirelli supersoft tyres during the course of the day in which he completed 139 laps.
A tad slower was Giovnazzi who completed nearly three race distances, his 148 laps were more than any other driver managed on the day.
McLaren’s young reserve driver Lando Norris was third fastest, recovering after stopping out on track earlier in the day.
Bottas’ time was the fastest ever in testing at Barcelona, although it was about eight tents of a second slower than the track record set by teammate Lewis Hamilton in qualifying for last weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix.
Kevin Magnussen of Haas, Charles Leclerc of Sauber and Pierre Gasly of Toro Rosso also took part, with most other teams using junior and development drivers.
Gasly took over the Toro Rosso cockpit for the afternoon session from Formula 2 regular Sean Gelael. The pair finished ninth and twelfth respectively.
Williams used reserve driver Robert Kubica, who at the weekend was back in an official F1 session for the first time since almost losing his hand in a rally accident in 2011.
Jack Aitken had an impressive and hassle-free first test for the Renault, ending the day sixth and completing 120 laps in the process.
On his Red Bull test debut, 22-year-old Jake Dennis ended the day 10th, his best time came towards the end of the day in which he managed to complete 75 laps.
McLaren and Force India ran two cars as they ran tests for Pirelli tyre test, for Stoffel Vandoorne and Nicolas Latifi respectively.
Max Verstappen had the fastest time with Red Bull on the first day of testing on Tuesday, clocking 1: 17.538.
What the teams said:
Sean Gelael: “It was a long session this morning. I stayed in the car a lot and completed 83 laps! It was really fun, especially because yesterday, sadly, we had much less running. I’m really happy with today, I think the team had interesting ideas and developments, so that should hopefully be valuable for the upcoming races. It was a pleasure for me to contribute with a lot of race simulations, hopefully the testing items we ran will be successful and will make the car quicker!”
Pierre Gasly: “It was a quiet afternoon for me. We did 39 laps because we had a couple of issues, so I didn’t have a lot of running but we still managed to test a few things and get more answers to try and find the right direction to improve our package. I think we found some interesting results and now I am fully focussed on Monaco, I’m excited to go there for my second home race!”
Jonathan Eddolls, Chief Race Engineer: “After a difficult beginning to the Barcelona test, the team re-grouped and responded with a fantastic start to the second day of testing. Due to the limited running yesterday, Sean drove for us in the morning and completed a number of high priority test items. The main items covered were a mix of aerodynamic testing and characterisation, cooling evaluation, tyre testing and a number of mechanical setup tests. We scanned quite large changes with the aim of understanding the full operational envelope of the car and we have found some very interesting directions which we need to analyse and explore further. It was really the first time Sean got to do proper running in the TR13 and he was up to speed very quickly. It’s good to see that his feedback on the car was well aligned with our race drivers. Pierre took over in the afternoon, starting with some short runs with aerodynamic rakes fitted, but unfortunately we had an issue with the steering on the car, which took quite a while to change, so he didn’t get out properly until 4pm. From this point onwards things ran smoothly and we covered the plan by shortening the runs somewhat, so we still managed to gather all of the required data.
“To sum up, although we had a couple of small issues over the two days, we still managed to cover all of the major test items we had planned. We are coming away with some interesting setup directions to consider and a lot of data to go through over the coming days.”
Masamitsu Motohashi, Honda F1 Deputy Technical Director: “This has been our first chance since we were last here in Barcelona back in March, to be able to test ideas without dealing with the pressures of a race weekend and as such it has been useful. Over these two days, on the PU side, we worked mainly on energy management topics, evaluating how best to balance power between each component. Now we will apply the lessons learned in future races.”
Jake Dennis: “My first day in the RB14 went really well. Obviously, it’s a big step up from what I’m used to in GT racing but I got used to the speed and the grip quite quickly and we managed to get through the whole run plan in the end. The morning session went pretty smoothly and then in the afternoon, I managed to get quite a few laps under my belt, which was good. It was nice to change a few things to give me a proper representation of the difference between the simulator and real life. So we have a few things to work on back in Milton Keynes to help Max and Daniel and make it even more realistic for them. But overall, super happy, a big thanks to the team for giving me the opportunity, and hopefully I’ll be back in the RB14 soon!”
Senior Projects Engineer Jeff Calam: “Today was very much an engineering biased day and we didn’t expect to rack up the kind of mileage we amassed yesterday or to target any kind of meaningful lap time. In the morning we were focused on aero mapping and after that we had quite a long stopover lunch to make some changes to the car. The downtime ended up being a bit longer due to red flags this afternoon but while we lost about an hour and a half it didn’t affect the programme we were running and we got through all the test items on the agenda. It was very useful day for Jake, too, and he was able to get a good feeling for the car and provided us with good feedback throughout. In all I’d say he did a very good job and did everything that we asked of him. No headlines for us today but the work we did and the data gathered will be of great value going forward.”
Valtteri Bottas: “Today was really interesting and we got through our programme fairly smoothly. We had a good baseline from last weekend and used it to work on different set-ups, trying out bigger changes than we normally would on a race weekend. We also tried to gather some information on the tyres, as we will see similarly smooth tarmac at Silverstone and Paul Ricard. I enjoyed being back in the car today, I’m looking forward to being back in action next week in Monaco.”
Andrew Shovlin: “We’ve had Valtteri in the car today and have had another very useful day of testing, with the car running faultlessly throughout. We had a fairly similar programme to Lewis, using the early part of the day to do a number of the aerodynamic test items, then getting into a programme of short-run work before lunch and longer runs in the afternoon. There were a few cars that stopped on track in the afternoon causing red flags, which does impact on your plans. But, we have been able to complete almost all the important work we had planned and have made some good progress in further understanding the car and tyres. We have a very busy few days coming up, finishing our analysis from the race and test and getting stuck into preparations for Monaco to ensure we are ready for its unique challenges.”
Charles Leclerc: “It was a productive day of testing for us. I feel comfortable on this track, as we have spent quite a bit of time here this season – for winter testing, the Grand Prix last weekend, and now the third test of the season. We tried out various car set-ups and tested new aerodynamic parts. It was also interesting to drive on different tyre compounds and learn more about their behaviour. I am satisfied with the number of laps we completed. We collected a lot of data and will be able to learn from this and apply our knowledge in the upcoming races.”
Jack Aitken: “Today was an amazing experience for me driving a contemporary Formula 1 car for the first time. I was a little surprised how quickly I adapted to the car as I was up to speed quite smoothly in the morning. It was a busy day with a packed programme! We got through it really well, with both the team and myself able to learn a lot through the day. Overall, an awesome day with a lot of laps on the board and plenty of data to analyse so I’m a happy man.”
Alan Permane, Sporting Director: “We ran a similar programme to yesterday, the only exception being getting Jack acclimatised in the car. He got up to speed quickly in the morning session and ran consistently with very good feedback. As the day progressed, we began a mixture of runs on a range of tyre compounds, testing different stint lengths, as well as the usual aero and mechanical test item evaluations. Another productive day overall.”
Antonio Giovinazzi: “It was a tiring day. We did a lot of laps, but I really enjoyed it. Apart from yesterday, driving the Alfa Sauber, I hadn’t driven in an official test session since last year in Abu Dhabi. We had an interesting programme to work on, with various things to test and different tyre compounds to try. The test was productive and delivered a really big amount of data to correlate with that from the simulator. To be at the wheel of a Ferrari is always a privilege and it was a fantastic feeling.”
Dave Robson, Performance Projects – Principal Engineer: “We’ve had another very busy and productive day today with a lot of laps completed. We’ve run a solid programme with Robert, building on the ground work we did yesterday with Oliver in the car. Robert’s done a really good job and once again we’ve collected an awful lot of data that’s hopefully going to help inform how we set the car up and develop it in Monaco and beyond.”
Robert Kubica, Reserve and Development Driver: “There will be a lot of things to analyse and double check with all the data we gathered. It was an interesting day from a driving point of view but it will be more interesting for the guys back at the factory to look at the data and see what we can get out of it. With limited time we need to find the best way of fixing our issues. That’s not something we will be doing in 24 hours. I am happy to help and I did my best as always.”
Kevin Magnussen: “I had a good day today. We were mainly testing tire items. There were lots of interesting things done. We obviously had some kind of issue at the end, which sadly meant we had to stop for the rest of the day. That’s still being investigated. All in all, though, it was a good day with some good mileage, especially learning more with the tires.”
Nikita Mazepin: “It’s always a pleasure to be in the car and, as always, I have tried to deliver the best job I could in the most professional way. The conditions are very different compared to the last time I drove the VJM11 during the winter. The car feels so much better now and from the first moment I could feel the positive step the team made. I had my reference points from my work in the simulator so it wasn’t all new for me, but it still felt much more consistent and easy to drive compared to pre-season testing. Our programme today included a mix of long and shorter runs working mainly on the softs and hypersoft. We had a small issue in the morning that prevented us from running as much as we would have liked, but we were able to catch up in the afternoon.”
Tom McCullough, Chief Race Engineer, “It was good to have Nikita in the car again after his outing in pre-season. It’s always interesting to see a young driver grow with the team and his maiden win in GP3 last weekend showed how much he has developed over the last few years. Nikita was up to speed quickly thanks to his work in the simulator and helped us gather some important data. We had a productive day, even though a hydraulic leak caused us to lose some time after our aero runs in the morning. We were able to repair the car and go back out for two more runs before lunch and we adjusted our plan to make up for lost ground in the afternoon. We managed to complete all our test items, which was very important for the team ahead of Monaco. Looking at both days, it’s been a valuable session that will help us develop the VJM11 even more as the season progresses.”