Barcelona F1 Test Day 6: Team & Driver Reports

Teams and drivers report from the second day of the second and final Formula 1 preseason test at Circuit de Catalunya in Spain.


Carlos Sainz: “It’s been a good day of work. We managed to do a lot of laps again today and more or less a full race simulation. There are still a few niggles and stoppages that we wish we didn’t have, but every time we go out on track we’re a bit more reliable and we keep moving in the right direction. Overall, I’m happy that we made the most of the time on track today. The timesheets still aren’t important. We’re only focused on our run plans and tests, rather than wasting our energy on trying to calculate where we’re at compared to the others. Once we see what everyone else brings in Australia we’ll be in a better position to compare our performance. For the moment, I’ll look back over these six days with my engineers, what I liked, what I didn’t like, and try to put together the best compromise for my last day in the car on Friday.”

Gil De Ferran, Sporting Director: “As this has been the most laps Carlos has completed on one day during this year’s pre-season tests – and very nearly the most of any day for us – this will qualify as one of the most fruitful days yet. It’s also been one of the hottest days so far, which has provided us with useful and more representative data. I’d love to declare that this was an issue-free day, however we’re still contending with some small challenges. On the positive side, our knowledge of the car’s behaviour, our drivers, the Renault power unit and the new Pirelli tyres continues to expand. Carlos’ acclimatisation into the team is progressing well. We look forward to the last two days of testing before Australia to complete our final preparation work, in which we still have an extensive programme to cover.”


Team Report: “Sebastian Vettel went out on track shortly after 9am and was trying the car in different configurations. Halfway through the morning, a mechanical problem with the front left corner on the SF90 saw Sebastian go off the track at Turn 3. The driver was unhurt but went to the medical centre for the usual checks. Up to that point, Sebastian had completed 40 laps.

Sebastian Vettel: “Clearly, we have not done as much running as we would have liked but I’d still say I’m getting a positive feeling from the car. Last week was definitely productive as we completed a lot of mileage and also yesterday, we were able to make up for the track time lost in the morning. As for the accident. I was going into Turn 3 and I had a feeling there was an issue with the front left corner of the car and from then on, there was nothing I could do to avoid the impact. The good thing is I am totally fine and, by the end of the day, thanks to a great job from the mechanics, we even managed to get the car back on track.”


Valtteri Bottas: “It was a positive day, we did 74 laps this morning, focusing on set-up work and making some good progress. There’s a lot of data for us to go through tonight to further improve our set-up and make sure we come up with the optimal programme for tomorrow. We learned a lot today and we will make sure to learn a lot again tomorrow.”

Lewis Hamilton: “We got a lot of laps today which is a good thing, but we’ve come across a few little hurdles, so we’re just working our way through them, trying to be as diligent as possible trying to understand the causes – which is exactly what testing is for. Everyone is working flat-out and I’m sure we will get there. You need days like this to be able to bring light to the things that we need to work on.”

James Allison: “We did set-up work in the morning with Valtteri and continued with this in the early afternoon with Lewis, yielding some good results for both drivers. The race run in the afternoon, although quite considerably quicker than the last race simulation we made, was marred by front graining – something which we think, looking up and down the pit lane, could be a feature of the year. We need to make progress on graining resistance in the next couple of days, in order to make sure we have a good way of handling it by the time the racing season begins.”

Red Bull

Max Verstappen: “Not a perfect day, but still a good one. There are always things you want to check, instead of driving until something breaks. We did a routine check this afternoon and then got back out again at the end of the session. But even with the delay we had, we still managed to do over 120 laps, so I think it was still a very positive day. The more laps, the better and today we did a lot, so overall I’m happy.”

Guillaume Rocquelin, Head of Race Engineering: “We had another good morning, following the same plan as yesterday, when we got through a lot of shorter runs and set-up changes. In the afternoon, we went into a scheduled race simulation. We managed two-thirds of that but after Max had a brief off, we pitted for some routine checks with the gearbox. It’s not the easiest element of the car to get deep into, so it kept us in the garage for a while. When we did get back out, the change in track conditions meant we weren’t going to learn that much so we focused on pit stop practice, which we had planned as part of the race work. Tomorrow, we’ll pursue the same plan, which is all about understanding the car and gaining valuable information.”

Toro Rosso

Daniil Kvyat: “I would say we had a decent day of running, we ran some useful test items and got some good laps on the board. Of course, you always want to do a few more laps but we had a couple of small issues here and there, it wasn’t anything major, although the time adds up. In the end, it was a productive day and that’s the most important thing, we got to test many useful items so now we’ll focus on the next day of testing. You can’t look too much into the timesheets as everyone is on a different programme of testing but I’m feeling quite comfortable with the car. We got through almost everything we wanted to test today and we have a lot of useful data that I’ll go through together with my engineers. I have one more day left in the car and we will make the most out of it before heading to Melbourne.”

Jody Egginton, Deputy Technical Director: “Dany took over driving duties today for the second day of test and he stepped through the standard block of aero tests early on, without any fuss or delay. As the temperature increased, we moved the setup forwards as planned and also ticked off a number of background test items. In addition to the red flag, we unfortunately lost some track time later in the morning due to a couple of small issues which we now need to address for tomorrow. Having said this, we have increased our understanding of the car’s setup today and we are looking forward to applying this to the final two days of winter testing.”

Toyoharu Tanabe, Honda F1 Technical Director: “This was the trickiest day of the six days of testing so far because, for various reasons, we did not get quite as much track time as we would have liked. Nevertheless, both our teams completed more than 100 laps and it was another day without major issues on PU side. We will now use the remaining two days of pre-season testing to complete our planned programme prior to the first race.”


Romain Grosjean: “It’s been a good day with a fair number of laps. We had a bit of a slow start in the morning, but then we got into it, we did the program we wanted. I drove the car in different conditions. It still feels really good, it reacts very well. There are a lot of things we’re improving day-after-day. The team’s doing a great job and I feel we’re headed in the right direction. I’m looking forward to getting more laps in this week.”

Guenther Steiner: “It was another good day of testing. We enjoyed quite a bit of running, we got more than 100 laps which is always good. I think we’re making up for all the time we lost last week. We’re learning, trying to find out what the tires are doing, and what we need to do on the set-up. A couple more days like this and we’ll be ready for Melbourne.”

Racing Point

Sergio Perez: “It was a good day, even though we had a bit of a slow start. We had a couple of small issues here and there and the red flags didn’t help, but in the end we finished the day with plenty of information. We were able to finally try some long runs after being pretty limited on mileage last week. We got to try the softer compounds of the Pirelli range and I was happy about the grip they offer. I had a good feeling with them and I hope we get to use them often this season, because they should work well on the majority of tracks. I am looking forward to a good, trouble-free final day on the car on Friday, so that I can then prepare myself well before we head to Melbourne.”

Tom McCullough, Performance Engineering Director: “It wasn’t the most straightforward morning: we struggled a bit with the balance of the car and the timing of stoppages on track, so we didn’t quite achieve all our test objectives before lunch. We were much more productive and able to make up lost time in the afternoon, however. We completed all the items we needed to evaluate and understand, and we focused on some long run data-gathering in preparation for the final two days of testing. Sergio got his first experience of the softest compounds and overall the car ran reliably, which is always a positive. We have a lot of information to process and plenty to understand, so there’s still a lot of work to do.”


Paddy Lowe, Chief Technical Officer: “It was another day of perfect winter testing weather and we had an ambitious programme planned with Robert in the car. We had a trouble-free day and got through 130 laps to complete the entire programme for the day. We made some progress following analysis of the car overnight, especially on the long runs, but there is a lot more to find. We have good data to analyse from today’s runs and so that will help give us further direction for another important day tomorrow.”

Robert Kubica: “We had a good day from a gathering data point of view. Time is running out and from a driver point of view we haven’t done much work on the car so there is still a lot of things to discover and not much time before the first race. We are not in the position we would like to be from an engineering point of view, but I hope in the next few days we can start playing with the car and see how it reacts. We have to keep working and keep improving to put maximum effort in, and I hope we have a smooth start to the season now.”