The Barcelona Test: Day Three Recap

Today was the third and final day of dry running at the first test of the year. It was an action packed day. Click or tap the team you want to navigate directly to:
Mercedes
Red Bull
Ferrari
Force India
Williams
McLaren
Toro Rosso
Haas
Renault
Sauber

Mercedes

The Silver Arrows drivers combined to amass an incredible 170 laps today. The team have now run more than seven race distances of the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. Valtteri Bottas drove the morning program and Lewis Hamilton finished off the afternoon session. From the team’s report, Bottas said the following after running 75 laps in the W08:

“We completed lots of mileage and the entire programme that we’d planned to do – including some long and short runs, collecting information on the different tyre compounds,” said Bottas. “We did some aero work to start with in the morning when the conditions were cold, then moved onto testing different settings on the car. It was a pretty straightforward day again, so I think everyone has done a great job so far. The car is running well and it’s feeling better and better.”

bottas
Bottas ran a day best 1:19.705 on ultrasoft tires

Hamilton added this after running 95 laps in the afternoon:

“Everyone at the factory has worked so hard to build a car that goes the distance. As always on these test days we’re just trying to get through as much as possible, in terms of reliability,” said Hamilton. “The main thing is I got my first race run done today with no problems at all. Everything’s worked well, which I’m happy about. The car is running smoothly and we’re just running through setup items to tick off boxes at this stage.”

hamilton
Hamilton had the seventh fastest lap with a 1:22.090

Nico Rosberg stopped by the Mercedes garage in the morning to check out the new-spec cars:

“The drivers seem to be loving the new cars so far. I think they will turn the drivers into proper gladiators out on track. The cars will take them to their limits and we might even see drivers losing race wins because they’re physical drained.”

Hamilton will drive the morning session tomorrow, with Bottas completing the test in the afternoon.

Red Bull

Daniel Ricciardo returned to testing the RB13 today, totaling 70 laps after an exhaust issue slowed down the team’s afternoon testing. It was a solid effort, but Head of Race Engineering Guillaume Rocquelin wanted more, from the team’s report:

“It’s obviously not ideal when you encounter the kind of issues we had today and on Monday, but that’s the nature of testing,” said Rocquelin. “Ultimately it’s about what you learn from the laps you do get on the board rather than just running for the sake of it and so we’ve learned a lot so far. Tomorrow we’ll learn even more as the track will be artificially wet, so there’s plenty of work still to do before we head back to the factory.”

Ricciardo was able to complete just 22 laps after the lunch break due to the exhaust issue. He had the following to say:

“I definitely learned more about the car and the tyres today and really started to feel the downforce. For example, Turns 3 and 9 are now pretty impressive,” said Ricciardo. “This afternoon we found a problem with the exhaust. We had to check it, which took some time, but before that we had a pretty good run of nearly 20 laps, which was important for understanding the tyres. For now, we haven’t got too involved in performance runs.”

rb
Ricciardo’s best time of 1:21.153 was third best on the day, set on soft tires

Ferrari

Sebastian Vettel completed a day’s best 139 laps today, a mammoth effort. He also drove 129 on Monday. He was able to achieve the day’s second fastest time, two tenths of a second off the pace of Mercedes’ Valterri Bottas. From the team’s report, Vettel commented on what the 2017 car feels like to drive:

“We are more or less at the performance levels of ten years ago, with a lot of aerodynamic downforce, but also with quite a lot more weight. They are also more physical and at the end of the day, you feel tired, but this is normal for the first outing since the winter break. The tyres are also different and they behave more consistently. We have seen more or less what we expected: the cars are quicker in the corners and slower down the straights, because of the drag. But they are also great fun to drive.”

Regarding the team’s mindset for testing, he added:

“It’s too early to understand the available potential: we focused on our programme, without paying the slightest attention to what the other teams were doing. All winter we have prepared so as to get here in the best possible shape. But there are still around four weeks to go to the first race and there is much work to do, so much in our programme.”

ferrari
Vettel’s best time, a 1:19.952, was second best on the day

Kimi Raikkonen will drive for the Scuderia during wet weather testing tomorrow.

Force India

Alfonso Celis, Force India’s test driver, deputised for Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon today, completing 71 laps in the VJM10. From the team’s report, Chief Race Engineer Tom McCullough explained how the day went:

“Another solid day of work in Barcelona as Alfonso drove the VJM10 for the first time. Track temperatures were very low for the first couple of hours so we focussed on an aero mapping with various instruments fitted to the side of the car. We made a floor change during the lunch hour and worked through a set-up programme in the afternoon. Alfonso ran on several different tyre compounds – ultrasoft, supersoft and soft.”

Celis described his day as follows:

“It was a busy day in which we managed to complete nearly everything in our plan. These cars are completely different and I enjoyed my first experience of the new regulations – you can really feel the step up in performance. It took me a bit of time to get used to the car and the conditions,” said Celis. “The most important objective of the day was to give the team as much data as possible so these 71 laps will hopefully be very useful for better understanding this car.”

fi
Celis’ fastest lap of the day was the slowest on the time sheet, a 1:23.568

Williams

Lance Stroll had his second taste of the FW40 today, completing 98 laps before dancing with the barrier. His pace was mid-table with a mixture of short and long runs. From the team’s report, here are Chief of Performance Engineering Rob Smedley’s thoughts:

“We’ve had a good day, learning about the car while also doing aerodynamic and mechanical testing. We’re still in the early stages, but things are looking promising and it’s been a good boost for the team to get some significant mileage under the belt. Unfortunately, Lance was an innocent victim today when he was caught out by cold tyres at the end of the session. The incident caused some damage and as a result we missed the final hour of running. The tyres being a little bit snappy has been something that both Felipe and Lance have commented on so I guess we’re all just acclimatising to them.”

Stroll added:

“We covered nearly 100 laps and I was getting used to the car producing good short and long runs. Unfortunately, we had the incident at the end which prematurely stopped our running. It was still a good day – the team is happy and I am happy with the way it went with the car, and everybody is still positive. It was unfortunate what happened at the end but things like that happen and you have just got to move forward and make the best of it.”

williams
Stroll had the ninth fastest time on the day, a 1:22.351

McLaren

Fernando Alonso enjoyed McLaren’s first trouble-free day of testing today, completing 72 laps. The team were able to execute their full day’s program. From the team’s report, Racing Director Eric Boullier was pleased with how the day worked out:

“Today has been a much more successful day, and we’re happy that we’ve been able to execute our testing programme proper with a full day of running. I’m pleased to report that there were no major issues, and the team completed our planned run programme for the day,” said Boullier. “While we shouldn’t get carried away, today’s running has provided the team with a boost after a tricky couple of days, and I hope we continue collecting more mileage and data tomorrow to end the first week.”

Alonso commented on the MCL32:

“The car feels good, and we’ve already made a lot of tweaks to the handling and set-up of the car from the first day. So far, the car is responding well to our changes, and overall we are seeing small improvements here and there, day-by-day, in different areas,” said Alonso. “The team worked really hard today to make sure we completed a lot of work on our programme, and we covered a lot of ground, testing different elements and working on various set-up configurations. It’s definitely been a valuable day for us.”

mcl
Alonso had the day’s tenth fastest time, a 1:22.598

Stoffel Vandoorne returns to testing the MCL32 tomorrow.

Toro Rosso

Daniil Kvyat and Carlos Sainz split the day’s testing duties, with Kvyat driving in the morning and Sainz driving in the afternoon. Both drivers encountered drivetrain issues which hampered the team’s testing program. From the team’s report, Head of Vehicle Performance Jody Egginton explains:

“A frustrating day as we were not able to complete our planned run programme. We started the morning with Daniil assessing some overnight changes,” said Egginton. “These yielded some useful data but, due to an issue with the drivetrain, we had to stop and as such were not able to complete the run plan.”

Regarding the afternoon session, Egginton had the following to say:

“Carlos took over driving duties in the afternoon, picking up a few of the outstanding test items but also working on some control system test items. His running progressed well and we were at the point of moving to the soft compound when we suffered another more serious drivetrain issue, which resulted in the car stopping on track and our day ending early.”

Kvyat completed 31 laps during the morning session. Here is what he had to say:

“A bit of a frustrating morning for me today because we lost some valuable track time due to a drivetrain issue. It’s a shame for myself and the team,” said Kvyat. “On a positive note, when the car is running it feels good and there’s always something positive found by the engineers and myself. My feeling with the car is also improving lap after lap.”

kvyat
Kvyat had the ninth fastest lap of the morning session, a 1:23.952

Sainz completed 32 laps in the afternoon before succumbing to the drivetrain issue:

“How annoying to have to finish the session early! Doing only half a day today, we were looking to maximize it, get into a good rhythm and add plenty of mileage to the car. Unfortunately, we suffered a drivetrain failure half way through the afternoon, which meant we had to stop and not run any more today. It’s frustrating, but this is what happens sometimes during testing.”

sainz
Sainz had the eleventh fastest lap of the day with a 1:23.540

Haas

Romain Grosjean tested the VF-17 today, racking up 56 laps on the day. He drove 27 laps in the morning session, followed by 29 more in the afternoon.

haas-flo-viz
Haas utilized Flow-Vis paint during the morning session t better understand their air flow
haas
Grosjean’s best time of the day was a 1:22.118, set on the supersoft tire

Grosjean will do all running again for Haas tomorrow.

Renault

Jolyon Palmer and Nico Hulkenberg enjoyed a positive day for Renault, each having a solid session as they split testing duties. The team completed 93 laps today, 51 in the morning session at the hands of Palmer and 42 in the afternoon by Hulkenberg. The main focuses of the day were evaluations of the front suspension and the rear aero. From the team’s report, Sporting Director Alan Permane said the following:

“We had productive day with both drivers in the car and we’ve seen good feedback regarding every element assessed. The team has made strong progress with the set-up and managed a decent amount of long runs to assist with our data collection and understanding.”

Palmer spoke of his morning testing:

“The car seems straight-forward to understand for the engineers and drivers, so that makes progress and development much easier than otherwise. I completed 51 laps this morning which is satisfying and we’re constantly learning.”

palmer
Palmer had the third best time of the morning, a 1:21.396

Hulkenberg added:

“My time in the afternoon was slightly limited with some minor issues, but they were a valuable 42 laps and with some quality work done. We are constantly improving our understanding of the car and I learnt a few bits and bobs myself. Tomorrow we’ll run on a wet track, which will be interesting.”

hulk
Hulkenberg’s best time of the day was a 1:21.791, fifth fastest on the day

Renault will split driving duties once again tomorrow in the wet, with Hulkenberg driving in the morning and Palmer taking over for the afternoon.

Sauber

Marcus Ericsson was able to complete a whopping 126 laps in the C36, the second most laps of any driver on the day. The team’s program included aero tests, setup work, tire compound evaluation and race preparation. From the team’s report, Ericsson had the following to say:

“It was very important that we could work through the planned programme without having issues with the car. I tested several tyre compounds today, and it was interesting to compare them on different stint lengths – on short as well as long runs. We had an intensive programme today, during which we learned a lot. We have loads of data to analyse in order to get a better understanding of the car.”

Barcelona F1 test 27/02-02/03/17
Ericsson managed to earn the sixth fastest time of the day, a 1:21.824 on the supersoft tires

Antonio Giovinazzi returns to the cockpit of the C36 for the final day of the test tomorrow.

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