Barcelona Test Day 3: Driver and team quotes

So that’s a wrap! The first stanza of the 2020 Formula 1 preseason testing is over and it would be fair to say that most of the teams look well prepared, the overall reliability quite astounding and, of course, many talking points.

On the final of the three days at Circuit de Catalunya-Barcelona, this is what drivers and teams had to say about their fortunes.


Valtteri Bottas: “It’s been really fun today, especially getting to do some shorter runs and being able to push the car a little bit closer to the limits – seeing a little bit more of the performance of the car. I enjoyed it and it felt really good out there. It feels like we made a step with the set-up since yesterday. The car is very driveable and I’m sure with some more hard work next week, we can make it better, which will be the goal. Overall, it’s been a really good first test, we have made some improvements every day with the car. A big well done to every single team member to deliver the car and engine – great job! I’m looking forward to getting back in the car next week.”

Lewis Hamilton: “It’s been a great effort from the team and great to see that the reliability is as strong as it is. The car has felt pretty good out there. It’s been a solid first week and we’ve got some good mileage. It’s a true showing of all the incredible work everyone has done back at the factory and here at the track. I’m really proud of everyone. We’ve got to keep working hard, analyse all the data from this week and figure out how we can move the car forward and build on everything next week.”

James Allison, Technical Director: “After the brief hiatus of yesterday, it was good to get a solid day of uninterrupted, reliable running today. Both drivers completed a programme of set-up work and an early look at the softer compound range. Just a very quick glimpse of that, but really useful preparation for the second week of testing where we have more of the soft rubber to bring. It’s been a good first week, the car has been broadly reliable, and the performance has been reasonably good throughout the week. There are, of course, many things to work on and we’ll be trying to do that in week two. But it’s a really good baseline. At the end of this first week, we start to get some sort of feeling for where all the teams are in the pecking order and especially now a few race distances have gone down. But it will be really interesting in the second week as our estimates start to refine further.”



Team Report: “The final day of the first pre-season test at the Barcelona-Catalunya circuit turned out to be more demanding than expected for Scuderia Ferrari Mission Winnow. Sebastian Vettel completed a total of 100 laps, equivalent to 465.5 kilometres, which was less than planned, because of a problem with the power unit on the SF1000, midway through the morning. The German started his day at 9 on the dot, putting in some constant speed laps to acquire specific data. Sebastian then continued running to evaluate the SF1000 in various configurations, using the C2 and C3 compound tyres and it was on the latter that he set his best time in 1:18.384. Vettel did another run shortly before 10.30 but after a few laps there was a problem with the power unit. The team told Vettel to park the car immediately at the side of the track, to limit the damage so that a thorough investigation of the problem could be carried out later. Once back in the garage, the team immediately got on with changing the power unit, sending the damaged one straight off to Maranello. At this point, Vettel had done 40 laps. At 14.18 the SF1000 was ready for action again and Vettel continued with the programme, doing some practice starts. In the afternoon, the German did a further 60 laps, bringing the day’s total to 100. In his day and a half at the wheel, Seb completed 173 laps, equivalent to 805 kilometres (almost three race distances). In its first three days on track, the SF1000 did 354 laps, or 1,648 kilometres. The second and final pre-season test takes place from next Wednesday, again for three days at the Barcelona-Catalunya circuit. The first Grand Prix of the 2020 Formula 1 season takes place in Australia on 15th March.”

Mattia Binotto, Team Principal: “We adopted a radically different approach to this first pre-season test compared to last year’s. So far, we have concentrated on evaluating every aspect of the car’s potential, running several different configurations, both aero and mechanical, so as to gather as much data as possible. We will now go home and analyse it all, comparing it to that gathered in the simulations we ran on the computer and on the actual simulator we have in Maranello. In next week’s test, we will begin to investigate the performance side, working on set-up and moving forward with the usual tests in qualifying and race trim in order to be well prepared for the opening round in Australia.”

Red Bull


Alex Albon: “This week we were focused more on reliability and systems checks than anything else and everything went very smoothly. The car feels good and each time we went out it felt better and better. It’s all about gaining experience of the car, learning what we can do with it and getting ready for Melbourne. The main areas we needed to work on have definitely improved. I think we’re looking strong and compared to last year we’ve made a good step forward. I think we’ve hit the ground running and we have a very good baseline now for next week.”

Head of Race Engineering, Guillaume Rocquelin: “It’s been a very successful test for the whole Team and in my opinion one of the most satisfying first weeks of pre-season testing we’ve had in some time. We had no issues, and the car ran very smoothly throughout. We did have a small issue on the car in the morning but it was an easy fix and Max was able to complete a full race simulation. We were on course for the same with Alex in the afternoon, but unfortunately there were a few red flags so we didn’t quite get everything done. Despite those delays he was still able to get through more than 80 laps so we’re very happy. We’re in good shape and we’ve now got a very good platform heading into the second week where we’ll hopefully add some more performance.”

Racing Point


Lance Stroll: “After driving in the afternoon of the opening day, it felt good to be back behind the wheel for a full day of running. We covered lots of laps, collected the data and worked through the job list. The RP20 feels very different to last season’s car and I think we’re in a much better place now than we were this time last year. You never know what the others are doing so we are just focussing on our own work. We definitely have a good base on which to build.”

Tom McCullough, Performance Engineering Director: “We had a positive start to the final day of the first test by completing all of the set-up performance run test items that we had planned. On Lance’s final run in the morning, we encountered a gearbox sensor problem but we fixed this over lunch and got back out in the afternoon, focussing on long-run performance. The issue over lunch and four red flags meant the day was not as productive as we hoped and despite only achieving 116 laps, our learning about the RP20 continued. I think we can say that we have had a positive start to winter testing. From here, we need to analyse the data that we have collected and come back next week to ensure that the final three days before Melbourne are as fruitful as possible.”



Carlos Sainz: “In general, it’s been another good morning going through the whole test programme, still understanding the new car and working through our test items. I’m looking forward to going into a second week of testing after a positive first one.”

Lando Norris: “It’s been a decent day. It wasn’t perfect, with a few little setbacks here and there, and a few red flags too which meant we didn’t get to do as many laps as planned, but we only missed a few. Apart from that, I got a better feeling for the car and I feel more confident. We’ve taken a few little steps forward. On the whole, it was a positive day. These first three days have been a positive way to start the season and to set us up for next week.”

Andreas Seidl, Team Principal: “Winter testing part one, completed. I’m very happy with the outcome of this test, thanks to thorough preparation and very disciplined and focused execution by the entire team. We were able to tick all the boxes we had on our job list for this first part of the winter testing campaign. In terms of reliability, it was the best first winter test we’ve had in many years. That’s a great reward for everyone in the team, and proof that the hard work done over the winter is paying off. Regarding performance, the car behaved as expected given the different steps and tests we completed over the last three days. We’ll use the next few days until the second test to analyse all the data we have collected in detail. We’ll come back next Wednesday and keep working on our preparation for Melbourne and extracting more performance from the MCL35. Thanks to the entire team here at the track and back home in Woking, to our colleagues from Renault, and to Lando and Carlos for their hard work and commitment. We go again.”



Daniil Kvyat: “I think today felt quite short, it was only half a day, but it was productive as we squeezed the most out of it. We had a lot of high-quality tests and tried to cover as many laps as we could, so we did well in that respect. Now we need to analyse everything and work on more tests to be ready for next week. The car feels like it’s in the ballpark and we’re still fine-tuning it like everyone else is, but the initial feeling is we’ve made some progress compared to last year. It’s hard to say how much or if it’s enough, but we’re still trying to unlock the full potential of the car, both on short and long runs.”

Pierre Gasly: “It was a really positive afternoon, I had a few more laps in the car and completed some more tests. We managed to do all of our long-run programme. Unfortunately, we had a small delay toward the end of the day which meant we couldn’t finish our performance runs, but it wasn’t too big of an issue as it was already covered by Daniil in the morning session. All in all, it was a positive three days for the team, there are a lot of things to analyse for next week, so we can find even more performance.”

Jonathan Eddolls, Chief Race Engineer: “We completed another successful testing day in Barcelona to wrap up what has been a fairly intense three days. Daniil drove in the morning and started the day with the typical aero rake running and some further mapping work. Data analysis from last night revealed some interesting setup directions, so these were explored further during the C3 short runs in the morning to confirm the findings. We then gave Daniil the opportunity for some performance running on the C4 compound and the car behaved well in this configuration. He closed the morning with two long runs on the C2 compound, testing items to assist with tyre management to build up knowledge for the season ahead. Pierre took over the AT01 for the afternoon and planned a number of mechanical and aerodynamic tests over short and long runs. Unfortunately, we lost some test time at the end of the day as we had to renew a fixing in the floor – it was a simple part but time-consuming to repair. We are already half-way through track running prior to Melbourne, but we have gathered a lot of data exploring the envelope of AT01 and already have a good understanding of the behaviour and characteristics of the car. The team will spend the coming days analysing the data in detail and feeding the results into the testing matrix for the final three days of testing next week.”

Franz Tost, Team Principal: “We had three very fruitful test days here in Barcelona, completing more than 100 laps every day – 384 in total – and learned a lot about the car, but we still have to work on the final setup. However, I think we are going in the right direction which is a good sign. It’s a pity we lost some track time today due to a little issue toward the end of the day, but we got a good understanding of the new aerodynamics on the car. We also ran a few long runs which meant we could get a clearer picture of tyre wear and degradation. The engineers now have a lot of data to analyse to come back well prepared next week for the second test. In general, I must say that Scuderia AlphaTauri seems to be in a good position for the upcoming year.”

Toyoharu Tanabe, Honda F1 Technical Director: “On the final day of the first test of 2020, both our teams completed a good number of laps. For Scuderia AlphaTauri, Daniil drove in the morning and Pierre in the afternoon for a total of 121 laps. AlphaTauri continued working on optimising the PU. We now have plenty of data to analyse at the mid-point of the pre-season tests. The fine weather and the fact there were very few red flags over the past three days means that this was a very productive first test for Honda and our two teams. We now have four days until the second test and everyone back in Japan, the UK and here in Spain is going to be very busy analysing a huge quantity of data, to make a further step forward in the final three days of track time before the first race. In total, the four Honda-powered cars completed 855 laps, equivalent to a distance of 3,980.025 kilometres.”



Dave Robson, Head of Vehicle Performance: “Nicholas was back in the car today and we had a full programme planned for him. Unfortunately, during the morning we saw something in the data which gave us concern over the power unit. A subsequent investigation meant we couldn’t get back on track until late in the afternoon. However, the mechanics did a great job of rebuilding the car to get us back out in time to complete some useful new tyre running. We were able to complete the day with a series of pitstops, which was a valuable experience for Nicholas and gave him an appreciation of how quick the stops will be once we get to the serious business of racing in Melbourne. We now have a few days to review the findings from this week before we start the final three days of testing ahead of the opening race of the season. We have a lot of work to do, but we have had a productive opening week with the new FW43 and are looking forward to evolving the performance next week.”

Nicholas Latifi: “It wasn’t the day I had hoped for in terms of running. I mirrored George’s programme from yesterday in terms of the sequence, with a lot of aero runs in the morning, and then I was able to get a few pushing laps before we saw some potential problems in the PU data. However, the guys did a great job to rebuild the car and get me back out there. We had a busy last hour of the day, testing lots of items and maximising the running time. The lack of track time was unfortunate, but that’s how testing goes sometimes. Hopefully we can make up for the mileage we missed next week.”



Romain Grosjean: “It was a pretty good morning and a pretty good first week. We’ve done a lot of testing and we’ve seen the lap times drop from other people. We’ve kept working on what we wanted to, we’ve trialled as many options on the car as we could. Generally, it’s been very positive, everything we’ve tested has been good. We ran the whole program we had planned for the morning – I’m very happy with that.”

Kevin Magnussen: “Overall, testing’s been positive for us this week. We’ve had two and a half days of good solid running with everything looking as to our expectations – I’m very happy about that. I’m looking forward to next week and getting into some more performance running and pushing the car a little bit harder. We’ll work on more set-up and so on as well. As I said though, I’m happy with this week.”

Guenther Steiner, Team Principal: “The first two days of testing were very good for us with no issues and a lot of data, we got a lot of things done. Today was a little bit more troublesome, these things can happen though. In the morning we had a small issue which kept us in the garage for half an hour. After that, testing went well with Romain (Grosjean). Then we had a damaged rim due to a problem with the wheel spacer, which ultimately caused the puncture for Kevin (Magnussen). Unfortunately, the car was too damaged to make it worthwhile to try and get it back out. We could have possibly returned for half an hour but there’s no point. We decided to get properly prepared for next week because we change chassis. To sum it up, it’s not been a bad week, just this afternoon’s been the only bad part – the rest has been very good.”

Alfa Romeo

Jan Monchaux, Technical Director: “We finish the first week of testing with the knowledge we did as good a job as we were planning. We ran without issues for three days, completing all the tests we had on our list and putting the third highest mileage of all teams under our belts. The first week was all about reliability and making sure all systems worked, while next week we will focus more on our car’s performance. Our job is of course far from finished: we will need to keep working hard, both at the factory and here at the track, in order to be ready for the season ahead.”

Antonio Giovinazzi: “I am pretty satisfied with our work, both today and in the whole of the week. The first outings in a new car are a very exciting moment but you can’t really take your eyes off the main objective, which is to get good mileage and give the team the feedback they need. We were able to run without issues and that’s the main thing. For me, every new lap, every new run means getting more confidence with the new car: I am looking forward to more of this feeling next week.”