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Barcelona test 09-03... in quotes

NEWS STORY
09/03/2018

The second and final test has now ended. Today, Kimi Raikkonen was behind the wheel of the SF71H, having recovered, after being indisposed over the past few days.

He rattled off 157 laps, the best of them a 1:17.221, set using the hypersoft tyres.

Ferrari's programme included set-up work and a race simulation, running different types of tyre and fuel loads. This was the hottest day of the entire two weeks of testing, with temperatures over 20 degrees and the track around the 37 mark.

"Overall, I feel we have a good package," said the Finn. "For sure the weather at the start of testing wasn't ideal, but we have finished with a couple of pretty good days. The car gives me a good feeling and, even if there are still a lot of things to improve, its reasonably easy to drive and it reacts to the various set-up changes. However, no one can say where we really are, compared to our rivals. We'll have a better idea in a couple of weeks in Melbourne and then, in general, after the first few races of the season. I like racing and I can't wait to start."

After a tough start to the day, the entire McLaren team pulled together to concentrate some solid running into the afternoon session.

Although Fernando took to the track shortly after 09:00 to commence his run programme, his progress was cut prematurely short by a problem with the turbo, prompting an engine change which kept him in the garage until the after the track closed for lunch break.

The team worked hard to prepare the car for the afternoon session, and Fernando returned to the track just after it reopened at 14:00.

He condensed a huge proportion of today's run plan into only a few hours of track time, completing significant mileage and ticking off more valuable elements on the test programme.

The day - and the pre-season tests - ended ultimately positively, despite the challenges the last couple of weeks had delivered. Fernando completed 93 laps, posting the second-quickest time of the day.

"Today was a bit of a rollercoaster!" admitted the Spaniard. "This morning we had an engine issue which meant we couldn't complete any of the morning programme, but the guys did a fantastic job once again to change everything on the car and get us ready as soon as possible.

"We had a very good afternoon, and compressed our full day's schedule into the afternoon session. We managed to do everything we wanted and I'm quite happy with the result and the final day of testing.

"I think there's more to come from the car in terms of performance and also of course with reliability, but now we have two important weeks back in the factory to prepare for the first race. We will see exactly where we are in Australia, when everyone is running with maximum performance, but I think it was a very productive two weeks of winter testing for us. We had a lot of new things to prove and test and now we have a couple of weeks to put everything in place.

"I'd like to say well done to the whole team for pushing hard, and now we're all looking forward to going racing in Melbourne."

"After a difficult start to the day this morning, I'm pleased that we've rounded off both today's programme and the two weeks of pre-season testing on a positive and productive note," added Eric Boullier. "We suffered a turbo issue in the power unit early on in our morning programme, which we believe was linked to the chassis oil leak on Tuesday. We had put this turbo onto the car overnight after spotting something in the data on the current power unit during installation, and to save time with investigation elected to swap the two elements.

"Unfortunately, this one failed - although the two issues aren't linked - and it will be sent back to Viry for further analysis and investigation. Nevertheless, the guys and girls in the garage did a phenomenal job to change this new configuration of power unit in four hours so that Fernando could return to the cockpit.

"In the afternoon session the engineers worked hard to condense our programme to provide us with as much track running as possible, and the whole team pulled together to get a significant amount of work done this afternoon.

"Fernando put in some solid laps, and he - and we - have ended the day happy with 93 laps completed after a pretty challenging start. We now will return to the factory armed with massive amounts of data to analyse before we head to Australia in two short weeks. We know we have things to work on, but we also know there's definite potential in our package, and we'll be working hard to maximise our reliability so that we have the chance to show our true performance in Melbourne.

"I'd like to say a huge thank you to everyone in the team for their hard work over the past few weeks. Despite the problems we've faced, we're taking home an extra 810km of data back to Woking compared to this time last year, which will help with our analysis and inform the direction we will take with car set-up when we arrive in Melbourne. I know I can speak for the whole team when I say that we already can't wait to go racing."

Renault completed a productive test with an interrupted final day. Due to a gearbox issue precluding running for a significant period, the planned programme was revised so Carlos Sainz stayed on driving duties for the afternoon as well as the morning. He completed 45 laps, setting a best lap time of 1:18.092, the third fastest of the day.

"Most of the day was frustrating for me and the team," admitted the Spaniard, 2but this doesn't cloud what was a productive week of testing in Barcelona. For the final couple of hours we were able to conduct some performance work with the softer tyres and the car did feel decent. In a way, it's good that we had the problem we did today, rather than during the season when it could hurt us more. I'm feeling positive ahead of the start of the season and I can't wait to get to Albert Park."

"Today we brought an encouraging test period to a close," added Cyril Abiteboul. "We have been able to cover almost all our programme over the two weeks, with several notable achievements, including beating the record of laps around Barcelona for a day. We feel we have a good handle on the car, which is a step forward from last year, but we will need to wait until Australia to determine where we are in the order.

"It was frustrating to finish with so few laps on the board today, but the complexity of the cars means little issues can take time to be sorted out. Today we fell victim to a sensor problem within the gearbox and, due to this being the early part of the season, we had to rebuild the gearbox with limited spares. It was a shame to end a very productive two weeks like this, but we can go into next week and Melbourne looking forward."

Daniel Ricciardo brought Red Bull's schedule to a close with the day's fourth fastest lap, a 1:18.327 set on supersoft tyres.

The next stop now for the team is the Honey Badger's home race weekend in Melbourne in a little less than a fortnight. And after a productive second week in Barcelona, Daniel admitted that he's relishing the prospect.

"We had some strong pace in testing at times," he said, "but then you see what others are doing and then you're not sure anymore, but I think we're looking OK. I think we still have to find a bit of time, we still have things to improve, but I think we are close enough to be in the hunt.

"It's been a good winter, we did a lot of laps and we're definitely feeling better about ourselves than we did 12 months ago. For me, I'm glad testing is over, it's not that exciting, especially when you're in the middle of a long run on a good bit of fuel!

"I'm looking forward to Melbourne now, that's what my sights are set on. I'd love a good result there. We'll try to come out with strong intentions. I think we can be close and I'm looking forward to a battle."

"This week has been extremely productive," added Head of Race Engineering, Guillaume Rocquelin, "and it was a similar story today, even though we covered fewer laps than on either of the past two days.

"In the morning we conducted a lot of aero work and stuck to the medium tyres. In fact, that was the case for most of the day. We made some changes in the afternoon and Daniel had a run on the supersofts later on, and he set an encouraging time on those.

"Overall, it's been an excellent week of testing for us and we learned a lot about the RB14. Now we have two weeks to analyse all of that information and act on it before arriving in Melbourne."

Romain Grosjean set a new benchmark for Haas with 181 laps completed, it was also the highest lap count of the day among the 12 drivers.

Teammate, Kevin Magnussen, set the team's previous best single-day total of 153 laps on Thursday. Prior to this year's winter test, the highest single-day lap tally of any Haas driver during preseason testing was 119 laps by Grosjean, set exactly one year ago.

The 181 laps translates to 842.555 kilometres (523.452 miles), which brought Romain's two-week testing total to 314 laps or 1,461.67 kilometres (908.240 miles). With Magnussen securing 381 total laps or 1,773.55 kilometres (1,102.033 miles) during the same time period, Haas F1 Team racked up an impressive 695 laps or 3,235.22 kilometres (2,010.57 miles) during its 2018 preseason test.

In addition to the amount of laps run, Grosjean displayed speed. His time of 1:18.412 placed him fifth overall. It was earned on his 87th tour with his VF-18 ultrasoft tires.

"It's been a long day, but it's been brilliant," said the Frenchman. "We did a lot of work with the car, which is really good. I managed to get a lot of laps in on the last day, which we missed earlier on in the test. The team did a great job. We've got a lot of knowledge now for Melbourne. I'm looking forward to being there."

"I think we got as much out of the last two days as we could," admitted Guenther Steiner. "Today, we got a race distance in during the morning and another one in the afternoon. That's what you want. The more you run, the more you learn."

Having completed over 1,000 laps in pre-season testing, Mercedes leaves the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya with a positive feeling and is excited to start the season in two weeks' time.

Lewis was first behind the wheel today, focusing on race simulation, while Valtteri drove the W09 this afternoon, gathering important tyre data. The W09 completed a total of 1,040 laps or 4,841 km during testing.

"It's been a really positive test," said Hamilton. "We got through everything, reliability has been great. Everyone has been working their backsides off and doing a tremendous job, I'm really proud of the team. We're happy with the information that we've got.

Both the car and the track are a lot faster compared to last year's race here. In my last run during the race simulation today I was doing 1:19s - that's my qualifying lap time from 2017 every lap.

"It's still difficult to know exactly where we are in comparison to Red Bull and Ferrari and we won't fully know that until we get to the first race. But I feel like we've got as much information as we could in order to equip us with the best data to go to the season opener. The preparation has been really good in the time that we had."

"Today was a very good ending to testing," added Bottas. "As a team we completed more than 200 laps and I put in more than 100 laps in the afternoon. So that's very positive and I'm very happy with the progress. Now we need to keep working for the week and a half before we travel to Melbourne. It will be interesting to find out where we will be.

"We got the Medium and the Hard tyres to work quite well. I think we still have issues with blistering on the softer compounds. Hopefully it will be different in Melbourne, but on the new track surface here in Barcelona we had some difficulties.

"The team has done a great job over the past two weeks. I really enjoy working with the team and I can't wait to get racing."

"Eight days of winter testing is a punishing schedule," said James Allison. "All of us out here at the track and those who have supported it back at the factories are feeling the cumulative loss of sleep. But I think we can look back on these two winter tests with some satisfaction, having designed, planned and then executed a very complex series of tests with some competence.

"The loss of time caused by the inclement weather during the first test is something that Andrew Shovlin and his team were able to nimbly work around and come back with a good programme. We finish winter testing feeling like we've explored the car and the tyres. We know that we put a good amount of kilometres onto it without any significant reliability difficulties and feel that we have in the car a good, strong foundation on which to build our 2018 campaign.

"Both drivers seem to like the car, it responds well to set-up changes and has shown a good turn of speed. I say that with caution because even with all the mileage we've done it's chastening to note that we have not yet come close to completing the full life cycle of core components such as the engine and the control electronics.

"Although we make our best efforts to try and figure out our competitive position, we don't know what the other teams are going to do between now and Melbourne and we don't really know with full accuracy what they've been doing here. So there's all sorts of reasons to be cautious - but this has been a good winter test. For now we can be content that we've managed to deliver that, and we look forward to Melbourne.

Check out our Friday gallery from Barcelona, here.

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