Courtesy of Red Bull Media Service Team
Day 4: All the latest from Aston Martin Red Bull Racing and Scuderia Toro Rosso.
The second and final pre-season test is up quickly from March 6-9 back at the Circuit de Catalunya ahead of the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne on March 25.
Aston Martin Red Bull Racing
“Today we didn’t do any performance laps, but when you have conditions such as this, which are not ideal, then it’s best to just focus on making sure everything is working in the way you want and that the data you’re getting correlates to what is happening in the wind tunnel and that’s what we did. We had a couple of little hiccups today and then in the afternoon I had a little moment where I went into the gravel, tried to reverse but it got stuck. However, I’m quite happy with the car so far, and maybe the second week will show a bit more how we compare against our rivals. I certainly hope it’s a bit sunnier next week.”
Head of Race Engineering Guillaume Rocquelin
“Not an ideal end to what has been a pretty tricky week. In the early morning the track took a long time to get to a condition where we felt there was any point in running, and then we focused mainly on aero work. We were finally able to run on dry tyres from about 2pm onwards. We had a reliability issue in the afternoon, and Max had a spin, which led to us calling a halt, but the issues we had are easy fixes and in general we’re pretty happy with how the car runs, so now it’s about building on what we have. The real difficulty this week was in not being able to maximise the time available and that was a bit frustrating. However, we are reasonably happy with what the RB14 delivered in its first outing and we now have a bit of time back at base to work on next week’s test, when hopefully the weather conditions will be a bit kinder.”
“It was really satisfying to have done so many laps today! It’s only the second day for me at testing in the car so I was still learning many things about it and we still need to find the right directions to maximise the performance for Melbourne. It was really important for the team and also for myself to be able to learn so much! We’ll have to go through everything in the next couple of days before the second test, but it was a really positive day overall. I think the reliability of the engine is great – 147 laps is more than double a race distance and we didn’t have any issues. Hopefully we can carry on like this. I would say the first feeling with the car is positive – I’m happy with both the car and the engine. We should have a couple of new developments to test for next week, so it’s a process where we will try to improve the car day by day, to get ready as much as possible for the first race.”
James Key (Technical Director)
“It was good to have some normal running today, although we had wet conditions to begin with which took a surprisingly long time to dry during the morning but then dried very quickly over lunch time. That allowed us to get some wet running with Pierre in the morning and do a little bit of work on the inter tyres, understand how those tyres were behaving and what setup implications there could be. We made some headway again on a few ideas on the car and Pierre seemed to be happy with the car in wet conditions. In the afternoon the plan was to try and catch up a little bit on the basic setup parameters that we wanted to study in preparation for next week. We worked through a programme of some basic tests and learnt some useful directions to pursue further next week. We finished off with a series of long runs that permitted us to get our first view of the car and tyres over a longer run and slightly better track conditions. In that respect, I think it’s been a good day and we’ll go into T02 now with some development items arriving and start getting into the details of the cars’ performance. Our mileage accumulation plans have general worked well and been useful for this week. I think it’s been an excellent test for Honda – they came here with a completely new engine after a lot of preparation work on their side, and on our side with them too. To come out of the test with no issues at all on the power unit side has been an excellent result and a situation we have never had during winter testing. With 147 laps today I think that’s a record for the power unit era for Honda – we have been testing for effectively only three days so this is an outstanding achievement.”
Fastest times from day four
1 Lewis Hamilton (GB) Mercedes 1:19.333
2 Stoffel Vandoorne (Bel) McLaren 1:19.854
3 Sebastian Vettel (Ger) Ferrari 1:20.241
4 Kevin Magnussen (Den) Haas 1:20.317
5 Fernando Alonso (Spa) McLaren 1:20.929