Mercedes dominance continued through into the first day of testing in Barcelona today, as Valtteri Bottas topped the timing screens at the end of the day with the fastest lap by 1.4 seconds to the next best using the softest tyre available on the day.
The Finn managed to get through 131 laps, almost two Grand Prix distances two days after teammate Lewis Hamilton won the Spanish Grand Prix at the same venue. Although times were largely irrelevant, this did not stop the World Champions strutting their stuff. Bottas was a tenth shy of the pole-winning time he set on Saturday.
Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc was second quickest using the C2 Pirelli compound, also covering 131 laps during the course of Tuesday.
Nicholas Latifi, the Williams reserve driver, covered the most distance with 134 laps but was also the slowest, while Ferrari development driver Callum Ilott tested for Alfa Romeo but crashed heavily in the afternoon, escaping injury but damaging the car.
This is what the teams had to say after day one at Circuit de Catalunya:
Report: Following the Spanish Grand Prix, Formula One teams have remained in Barcelona for this year’s second in-season test. Valtteri Bottas was back behind the wheel of the Mercedes W10, completing 131 laps on the opening day. The team focused on expanding its understanding of the W10 as well as completing some aero data collection. Mercedes-Benz Power Units completed a total of 2,300 km today.
Valtteri Bottas: “Today’s test day has been really good. We completed a lot of laps and learned a lot. Our programme focused on the tyres and setup. We collected lots of data over the race weekend in similar conditions to what we had today in terms of temperature and wind, so it was nice to do some setup comparisons. There were some new mechanical test items on the car too which were interesting to try out. Everyone did a really good job after a long weekend, so it’s been another successful day.”
Andrew Shovlin: “We’ve had a trouble-free day with Valtteri and got through most of the programme. The number of test days is so limited now that you always end up with a very busy programme and it’s important that everything arrives on time with it being our last chance to test this season. We’ve had a number of developments on the chassis and Power Unit side which we can hopefully bring to the race car over the next few races.”
“We’ve also done some work on setup for the softer compounds that will be appearing in Monaco and Montreal, along with some longer run work. We have Nikita in the car tomorrow, he’s worked with us over the past few months but this will be his first run in the W10 and we have a busy day of testing lined up for him.”
Two days on from the Spanish Grand Prix and Scuderia Ferrari was back on track for the first of two days of testing in Barcelona. Charles Leclerc was on duty working for the team, while Sebastian Vettel was running another SF90 for a Pirelli tyre test.
Sebastian did 58 laps in the morning, setting a best time of 1’18”425. Charles worked on a comparison and development programme. The Monegasque driver took to the track trying some updates and running comparison tests to continue gathering data and information relating to the car’s handling. Charles did 66 laps, the best in a time of 1’17”322, using the C3 tyres.
Both SF90s were on track again in the afternoon, working until the end of the nine hour session. Sebastian completed a further 75 laps, making a daily total of 133, equivalent to 619 kilometres. Charles did a further 66, for a total of 132. Sebastian’s best time was the one he set in the morning, whiles Charles got down to a 1’16”933 on the C2 compound tyres. Quickest was today was Valtteri Bottas in 1’15”511.
On Wednesday, Leclerc will switch to working on the Pirelli programme, while replacing him for Scuderia Ferrari Mission Winnow’s work will be Antonio Fuoco. The Italian is one of a group of drivers working in the simulator and this will be his third track test for the team after having already completed a total of 856 laps at the wheel of a Ferrari. The first was in Spielberg in 2015 and then here in Barcelona in 2016.
Charles Leclerc: “It was a positive day, overall. We completed a total of two race distances and collected a lot of data which we will analyse to understand our car even better. We are pushing to continue making improvements and I look forward to being back on track tomorrow.”
Report: Just two days after taking his third points finish of the season at the Spanish Grand Prix, Pierre Gasly was back in action at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya today as Formula 1’s second in season test of 2019 got underway. The French driver enjoyed a strong outing at the Montmeló track, posting a total of 118 laps as the Team continued development work on the RB15.
Pierre Gasly: “It was a busy day in the car and we managed to get through lots of test items. Today was all about trying to establish a direction for the races to come and also to extract a bit more performance from our package. We had what looks like a transmission issue right near the end of the session, which is being looked at now, but we still managed to get a lot of laps done.”
Simon Rennie, Group Leader Simulator Engineering: “There are always things you’d like to try with the car that just aren’t possible on a race weekend, so based on what we learned during the race weekend here in Spain, the plan today was to look at a variety of set-up concepts that we believe will aid general performance across the rest of the season.”
“That meant a pretty intense schedule for Pierre and for everyone in the garage as we worked through those changes, but we managed to get a lot done and we acquired some good data. In the morning Pierre ran on the C2 compound that was nominated as the medium tyre last weekend.”
“Then, in the afternoon, he spent a short period on the C1 compound for some aero runs before focusing on the C3 tyre up until the stoppage. We’re looking into the cause of that now, but we’ll certainly be up and running again for tomorrow’s session.”
Report: Pietro Fittipaldi accumulated 103 laps over the course of the day with a best time of 1:18.326 at the 4.655-kilometer (2.892-mile), 16-turn track – placing him seventh overall from 13 entrants at the test. A productive morning netted 57 tours from a series of eight timed stints with Fittipaldi recording his fastest time before the lunch break of 1:18.643.
The afternoon program saw Fittipaldi cycle through a variety of Pirelli compounds over a further 46 laps, duly banking his quickest time just minutes out from the checkered flag on lap 98. Kevin Magnussen, fresh off his seventh-place points scoring run in Sunday’s Spanish Grand Prix, assumes steering duties Wednesday to conclude the test.
Fittipaldi: “It was a good day with a lot of miles. The car ran well, it was really reliable, so thank you again to the team for the great job there. We made full use of the test trying different things throughout the day and the pace was good too – I was really happy about that. It was good over both short and long runs, the balance of the car felt great. We’ll definitely be able to learn a lot from the day. I felt good in the car, it’s been a great day.”
Daniil Kvyat: “It was a productive first day of testing as we covered all of our programme and test items we had planned for today. The team worked flawlessly, and we had really reliable and consistent running which is what we wanted. We can put a big tick in the box for this test and hopefully we will learn a lot from it, so we can bring some new ideas to races in the near future.”
Guillaume Dezoteux, Head of Vehicle Performance: “We had a very good first day of testing here in Barcelona. The good weather and faultless running from the car and Daniil allowed us to complete our programme. We were focused on aero data gathering in the morning, following the introduction of a new package during the race weekend just passed.”
“We then worked on different setup directions on the C3 tyre compound to optimize and further understand our car and Daniil’s requirements. In the afternoon, we continued our setup work on the C3 and performed some long runs for tyre optimization using the harder C2 tyre compound. We completed the day with a couple of short runs on the C4 tyre compound, which is one step softer than the soft tyre we used here during Qualifying.
“It is great to be back testing as it offers more opportunities to learn and secure clear answers about the car. Race weekends are often more difficult with limited running, variable tyre allocation, track evolution, and sometimes drivers learning a new track layout. It is always more difficult to be brave and try significantly different configurations. Now we will review all the data with our colleagues in Faenza and Bicester, and prepare the car for Alex’s run plan for the final day of 2019 in-season testing tomorrow.”
Carlos Sainz: “Today has been a positive day of testing for us as we managed to complete the whole programme planned for my morning session in the car. We went through some set-up items that we had doubts about after the weekend, and found some interesting results to explain why we weren’t completely happy with our qualifying and race performance.”
“We also validated some new aero parts that we brought here this weekend. We’ve got the data we need to take back home. That will help us understand what we did well this weekend and what we need to work on for Monaco. Overall, I’m happy with the work done.”
Lando Norris: “Today was a decent day. We got through everything we wanted to do today which was positive. We also went through a few things to confirm the results from the weekend before starting some preparation ahead of Monaco. We didn’t do a huge number of laps this afternoon but from what we did, we got everything we needed and managed to learn a lot.”
Andrea Stella, Performance Director: “Today has been a useful day of testing because we could complete our programme, which was split between Carlos and Lando, without any issues or delays. The test coming after the race gives us the opportunity to make some direct comparisons with the race weekend.
“In particular, we tested a few things on car set-up that helped us understand the behaviour of the car in qualifying and in the race, and we also acquired some useful information for the coming races.
“We conducted some aerodynamic tests to learn more about the aero package that we took to the Spanish Grand Prix, in addition to some further aerodynamic developments that we are considering for future introduction. We also gathered some information which will be very useful for the development of the car.”
Report: The team completed a successful first day of testing in Barcelona with Nick Yelloly behind the wheel of the RP19. Sergio Perez was also on driving duty in a second car completing a Pirelli testing programme.
Brad Joyce, Head of Trackside Performance: “It has been a positive first day of testing. Nick focussed on aerodynamic work and car familiarisation to ensure the feedback he gives in the simulator is accurate. He did a solid job putting plenty of laps on the board and setting baselines for future development. This is the last in-season test so it is important that we learn as much as we can to guide development for the rest of the season.”
“Sergio was in a second car completing work for Pirelli, which also went smoothly. Track conditions were good – similar to those we saw over the race weekend – and between the two cars we clocked up 229 laps. We hope to have another productive day tomorrow.”
Dave Robson, Senior Race Engineer: “Picking up where he left off in Bahrain, and following some more very strong results in F2, Nicholas drove extremely well all day today. This allowed us to complete almost all the tests that we had planned. Over 134 laps, we completed a series of test programmes as we evaluated some new components and began some preparation for Monaco.”
“Today we used mostly the C2 tyre compound, which was the Option tyre at the race weekend. Tomorrow we will use a more varied range of tyre compounds as we continue our test programme and complete Nicholas’s preparations ahead of his upcoming FP1 outings in Canada and France.”
Nicholas Latifi: “It was a productive day and we completed the greatest number of laps. The sessions ran smoothly, and we were able to get through our programme, despite the few red flag interruptions. Days like these are important for me to ensure that I am comfortable in the FW42 and understand what it is capable of ahead of my upcoming FP1 outings. I look forward to getting back in the car tomorrow for further testing in Barcelona.”
Report: The big crowds have disappeared, but all ten teams were back at work at the Barcelona-Catalunya circuit for the first of two days of testing. Pierre Gasly was driving for Aston Martin Red Bull Racing and Daniil Kvyat was on duty for Scuderia Toro Rosso. There were big mileages from both men; the Russian doing 121 laps and the Frenchman 118.
Everything ran smoothly on the PU front, which meant the teams were able to get on with their own programmes, while on the Honda side we worked towards the next race in Monaco, but also looked at more long term development items. Tomorrow, we have a change of drivers: in the Red Bull is the English youngster Dan Ticktum, while Alex Albon is in the Toro Rosso.
Masamitsu Motohashi, Honda F1 Deputy Technical Director: “It has been a productive first day of testing here in Barcelona. Using testing PUs fitted on Monday, both Gasly and Kvyat completed a high mileage, allowing us to acquire plenty of data.”
“This is particularly useful as we have the figures from only a few days ago over the Spanish Grand Prix weekend to use as a benchmark. Some of our work was aimed at tuning the PU elements for the next race in Monaco. We also carried out routine tests as well as doing some long-term development work and we went through our programme as scheduled.”
Report in progress…