The Barcelona Test: Day Four Recap

Thursday marked the fourth and final day of the first Barcelona test. It was the first day of wet running for teams:

water-trucks
Trucks dumped water all of the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya to give the teams some wet running

Would the wet weather upset the running order? Or did teams stay true to the pace shown on the previous three days? Click or tap a team to get started:

Mercedes
Red Bull
Ferrari
Force India
Williams
McLaren
Toro Rosso
Haas
Renault
Sauber

Mercedes

Lewis Hamilton was unable to complete a lap in the W08 during the morning session. He explained the situation via Twitter:

Valtteri Bottas was able to run his car for 9 laps at the end of the morning session and followed that by completing another 59 during the afternoon.

bottas
Bottas’ best time of the day was just eighth on the time sheet, a 1:23.443

The Silver Arrows completed a whopping 558 laps during the first week of testing. They should be well prepared for week two, which begins on Tuesday.

Red Bull

Max Verstappen took over the RB13 for the fourth and final day of testing, amassing 85 laps on the day. He tested both wet weather tire compounds, and also had a run on the softs, where he had his quickest lap on the day. From the team’s report, Max spoke of the week’s events:

“The conditions are not ideal, as the sun is shining and the track is wet, but at least we got a first idea of what the wet tyres are like. In terms of the week as a whole, the most important thing for us was to make mileage and to know that all the parts were holding up. In general everything behaved pretty well. I think Mercedes might still have an advantage on us in terms of power at the beginning of the season but we’ll be catching up. The car will definitely change quite a bit before we get to Melbourne.”

Head of Race Engineering Guillaume Rocquellin added:

“We chose not to run when the track was damp as there wasn’t really much point and we thought we might also have a recurrence of yesterday’s exhaust problem, though that turned out not to be the case. In all, it was a good test. Yes, we had a few problems, which cost us some track time, but the fundamentals are good: car control is good, the balance is good, the feel is good.”

rb
Verstappen set the day’s second best time with a 1:21.769 on soft tires

Ferrari

Kimi Raikkonen gave the Tifosi more hope as he topped the time sheets while completing 93 laps. Raikkonen kept to his typically reserved demeanor as he spoke of the day’s running, from the team’s report:

“What I can say is that the team has worked very well over the winter. Whether or not it will be enough, we cannot tell yet. I didn’t pay attention to what the other teams were doing, nor the lap times, because at this point, it means nothing. I’ve got the feeling that we learned some lessons from last year and at the moment, we can’t complain about how testing has gone so far.”

ferrari
Raikkonen topped the charts with a best time of 1:20.872

The Scuderia will once again alternate drivers at the second test, with Sebastian Vettel driving on Tuesday and Thursday, and Raikkonen driving on Wednesday and Friday.

Force India

Sergio Perez drove for the Silverstone team on the last day of testing, completing 82 laps including being chased down by former teammate Nico Hulkenberg:

Perez seemed to enjoy the day’s running in the VJM10, from the team’s report:

“I feel more confident in the car; I have learnt a huge amount and I think my preparation is going to plan. We can be pleased with this last day of testing: we covered a lot of ground and we found some more performance. Hopefully next week we can be in  even better shape. There is still a lot of work to be done, but I’m optimistic for Melbourne already.”

Chief Race Engineer Tom McCullough added:

“We are happy with how this week has gone and I want to say a big ‘thank you’ for the incredible efforts of everyone here in Barcelona and in our facilities in Silverstone and Brackley. We have been able to build up good mileage and iron out some of the inevitable teething problems that you get with a new car.”

fi
Perez’ best time on the day was a 1:22.534, sixth on the time sheet

Williams

The team from Grove had the least productive day possible today:

If you didn’t see what happened yesterday, rookie Lance Stroll danced with the barriers on his 99th lap of the day:

Williams are not off to a good start with Stroll’s incidents hampering the team’s testing programs.

McLaren

Stoffel Vandoorne drove the MCL32 for a solid 67 laps today. The team focused on timed laps and pitstop practice. They also seem to think highly of their shark fin!

mcl
Vandoorne’s best lap time was a 1:22.576 as McLaren got a solid day’s running today

Toro Rosso

Daniil Kvyat was only able to complete an out lap and and in lap today. From the team’s report, Technical Director James Key explains:

“Unfortunately Daniil only did an out/in lap this morning. We then suffered an engine related stoppage which lasted for the rest of the day. The week has been both encouraging but also frustrating with the missed running time. However we will now plan our recovery for next week and hope to make up for lost ground!”

Team Principal Franz Tost added:

“Both Carlos and Daniil have got to grips quickly with the STR12 and are gaining confidence rapidly. Their impressions has also been generally quite positive. All in all, it’s been a bit of a bumpy ride to begin with, but we are confident that we will get everything under control next week during the second test in order to be ready for the first race of the season in Australia.”

str
Kvyat was unable to complete a single lap on Thursday

Haas

Romain Grosjean drove the VF-17 on the final testing day, accumulating 118 laps. The team posted a statement from Grosjean on their Twitter page:

haas
Grosjean drove the most laps of any driver on Thursday, with the day’s fourth best time of 1:22.309

Renault

Nico Hulkenberg and Jolyon Palmer split testing duties on the final day of testing, combining for 90 laps of running. Hulkenberg totaled 51 laps during the morning session, with Palmer driving the remaining 39 during the afternoon. It was a busy and successful day for the team from Enstone and Viry. Renault even took some time to have fun with the McLaren livery on Twitter:

Hulkenberg’s morning consisted of driving on the Pirelli wet, intermediate and soft tires. His 51 laps were the most of any driver during the session. Here is Hulkenberg’s evaluation, from the team’s report:

“We completed a reasonable amount of laps in the morning, however the track dried pretty quickly so it was difficult to come to too many conclusions about the wet and intermediate tyres. We got some initial impressions on how the car reacts and feels on these tyres so we do have a starting point. The R.S.17 feels good so far, but we still have room for improvement.”

hulkenberg
Hulkenberg’s best lap was a 1:24.974, eighth fastest of the day

Palmer ran 39 laps during the afternoon after the team swapped out power units. He ran mostly on dry tires:

“It was another good afternoon even if I didn’t get much of a chance to try the wet tyres. We’ve continued to improve the car and that’s exactly what you want to achieve from pre-season testing. I think we can be really happy with where we’ve got to at the end of this first test.”

palmer
Palmer achieved the day’s third quickest lap with a 1:21.778 in drying conditions

Sauber

Antonio Giovinazzi returned to testing the C36 today and did well to finish 84 laps. He drove on a combination of wet, intermediate, soft and ultrasoft tires. The team also focused on setup work focusing on performance. From the team’s report, Giovinazzi had the following to say about his second day driving the Sauber:

“It was another positive day. We were able to test different tyre compounds on wet and dry tyres. I am overall satisfied with the two testing days, during which I was able to run a good amount of laps and to gain more experience.”

sauber
Giovinazzi finished with the day’s fifth best time, a 1:22.401 set on ultrasoft tires

Testing resumes on Tuesday at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.

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