The teams reflect as the second day of the second pre-season test comes to an end.
Daniel Ricciardo returned to the cockpit of the RB14 for a marathon outing that resulted in the ‘Honey Badger' claiming top spot on the timesheet, and the fastest ever time around the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, with a lap of 1:18.047, set on Pirelli's new hypersoft tyres. Daniel also took the lap count honours, with a total of 164 laps on a highly productive day's testing for the team.
"It was a good day today. I survived!" said Ricciardo, who was scheduled to drive yesterday but was forced to sit out the session due a mild illness. "Today's was an optimistic run plan and I didn't think we'd get that much done but we got through all of it, so that was good. I think I'll sleep well tonight!
"It was a good bunch of laps today and I got a few quick ones in there, which was nice. The hypersoft tyre helped of course but we made some changes early this morning and after some medium runs then we went to the softer tyres and the changes we made seemed to help the car so there was just a bit more confidence and the track was a good temperature today so we could start to get some real testing in.
"It was OK; I would have liked to get into the 17s, but we'll save that for the racing. In terms of the shape we're in, I think we're getting there, we're in a decent place."
"On most days at testing you draw up your run plan, with every minute of the day accounted for," added Head of Race Engineering, Guillaume Rocquelin, "and within an hour you've torn that up and started to move things around. Today wasn't like that and we managed to get through every item on the agenda.
"We focused largely on working as if at a grand prix weekend, so we tried a variety of tyre compounds, we did long runs on high fuel and then a full race simulation, including pit stops and everything. I think the hardest part of today was for Daniel, who wasn't well yesterday. These are fit guys, but when you're not in top form to be asked to get through the workload he did today and lap in the 1m18s is pretty impressive, so hats off to him. In all, it was a very good day for us today. We'll do the same programme with Max tomorrow and hopefully we'll maintain the level of reliability we showed today."
It was another busy day for Mercedes, with the W09 completing 175 laps. Both Lewis and Valtteri's fastest times were in the 1:18s, set on the Ultrasoft compound tyres.
Lewis took the car out in the morning, with Valtteri behind the wheel in the afternoon. Both drivers completed a similar programme today with shorter runs in the beginning and longer runs afterwards. Today's programme focussed on aero tests, pit stop practice and qualifying and race simulations
"The car felt OK," said Bottas. "We did some shorter runs in the beginning, and then longer runs afterwards. We definitely made some improvements once again. We've made good progress since last year, but some other cars look quick as well.
"We had decent temperatures so we could do some proper testing and learned a lot from today. We have some work to do to get more out of the soft compounds.
"I always enjoy trying to extract everything out of the car. But we still haven't unlocked the full potential of the package we have, so there's more to come."
"Today has been positive," added Hamilton. "The car is feeling good and the tyres are working. It's nice to have some good weather so we can really try and get in the mileage.
"The reliability has been good so far, which is a sign of all the great, hard work that the team has put in over the winter.
"It's still a work in progress, but it's definitely going in the right direction. The team's working hard - both here and back at the factory - to continue to climb the upwards gradient which we're currently on.
"I'm just so proud that I'm driving a creation that these guys have all worked to the bone to create. I'm proud to be the one who gets to go out there and try to exploit this car and bring them the results they deserve."
It was a bit of an unusual Wednesday for Ferrari, as both drivers had a turn behind the wheel of the SF71H. The Italian team completed 115 laps, equivalent to a distance of 535 kilometres.
Sebastian Vettel did 66 laps in the morning, the German's best being a 1:19.541. Kimi Raikkonen was only able to drive in the afternoon, feeling unwell and staying in his hotel room until lunchtime. The Finn managed 49 laps, with a fastest time of 1:20.242, as he continued with the programme that had been affected by last week's bad weather.
Both men set their best times on the Soft tyres. Tomorrow, testing continues with Sebastian Vettel driving, so that Raikkonen can make a complete recovery. Kimi will return on Friday, thus bringing the second and final winter test to a close.
"Today was a really good day," said Brendon Hartley, who completed 119 laps on his way to posting the fifth best time, "we had just some little issues in the afternoon which cost us a little bit of time, but we made up for it in the end with a couple of long runs on high fuel. I'm getting to know the STR13 more and more - I hadn't driven since day one of the first test - so that was a really productive day for me and it was nice to see how the car has progressed. Everything has been quite reliable so far, we had a couple of hiccups the last two days which have been resolved and all understood, so overall it's been very good.
"We tried some different setups this morning which made the car quite tricky to drive, but I'm happy to have a couple of spins in testing …it's better to have them here than in the race! In the afternoon I was really comfortable with the car and the long runs, and satisfied to bang in a reasonable time in the end."
"It was an interesting day today," added James Key, "the first time really in the two tests that we've put some of the larger test items on the TR13; some of them mechanical and some aerodynamic. We had a bit of a stop/start morning with various stoppages and minor issues which meant we couldn't really get a consistent set of runs together, which was important for Brendon given that he's only really done one day so far here in Barcelona after the weather conditions last week. This afternoon we managed to get a reasonable amount covered in quite a short space of time towards the end of the day which proved to be productive. He did a good consistent set of laps on race stint running and then trying the softer compounds for short runs at the end, which was good preparation for later in the week.
"We've learned quite a bit from test items we had which has been important for decisions on future development directions and some more immediate steps that we want to follow up. Once again the engine has been very reliable and consistent all day so that's another continuing positive for the power unit side and Honda's progress. Overall, I think it was a productive and very busy day and hopefully we can continue that in the final two days of the test."
"Once again today, the weather did not disappoint," added Toyoharu Tanabe, Honda F1 Technical Director, "with clear skies and warm temperatures ideal for testing. Brendon, who did not get much running time during Test 1, because of bad weather, was driving.
"We continued the programme from yesterday both on the chassis and PU side, focusing on actual race work. This was a positive day as we managed to complete 119 laps. There was one small issue during the session, but the team worked effectively to immediately identify the cause, deal with it and send Brendon back out on track with the minimum of time lost.
"After six days of testing, some of it affected by bad weather, I'm happy that the collaboration of Red Bull Toro Rosso Honda is working well together as one team. We hope to maintain that momentum and make further steps forward over the remaining two days."
Check out our Wednesday gallery from Barcelona, here.