On the last day of the 2019 pre-season test, Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport continued to work on the set-up of the W10 and ticked off the last test items of the two-week programme. The team also collected more aerodynamic data before the focus shifted to single-lap performance. Both drivers set their fastest lap times of winter testing today.
Valtteri was behind the wheel in the morning, gathering aero data and working on qualifying performance. Lewis took over for the afternoon, also working on qualifying simulations on different compounds running a similar programme to Valtteri.
The Mercedes-AMG F1 W10 EQ Power+ completed a total of 1,190 laps or 5,539 km during winter testing.
Valtteri Bottas: That's the final day of testing done, next time we'll drive the W10, it will be in Melbourne. We've used our time on track here in Barcelona efficiently, learning a lot and improving our performance over the past two weeks. We've also learned that the competition is going to be very, very tough this year, but we're looking forward to the challenge. We need to keep pushing and find more performance if we want to be competitive in Melbourne, but we have a strong team and have made good progress in the last days. We have a few days left to work on the car, so we will give it everything. I'm looking forward to Melbourne!
Lewis Hamilton: The last couple of days have been very positive: it felt like the changes we were making helped us progress and gave us clear feedback of when we were moving in the right or the wrong direction. Today, it was nice to feel the car on lighter fuel and to discover it a little better; I really enjoyed the day and got a good feel for the tyres as well. I'm not the biggest fan of testing, as everybody knows, but it has been a positive week overall. Even so, there is still a lot to do and we are not there yet; there are lots of areas that we are working on and we are heading in the right direction.
James Allison: It was a nice final day. We've waited for a number of days to run on the softer rubber and have a look at the car in its Melbourne spec. We're reasonably pleased because we had a good balance with both drivers and both set competitive lap times. But we've got plenty of work ahead of us before Melbourne. We can look back on eight days of testing where the car has been very reliable, where we've made steady progress throughout those two weeks with the performance and the set-up, we've run through a huge range of the procedures and tests that we need to complete in order to be ready for the first race of the season. All in all, it's been a very long, very tiring but successful test.
The second test prior to the 2019 season came to an end today. Sebastian Vettel was at the wheel for Scuderia Ferrari Mission Winnow, completing 110 laps in the SF90. This means that, over the entire winter test sessions, the car did 996 laps, equivalent to 4,636 kilometers.
Before the day's work began, Ferrari Chairman John Elkann arrived in the garage to show his support for the team and wish everyone well prior to their departure for the Australian Grand Prix.
On track, Vettel spent the first part of the morning working on set-up, doing 68 laps, with a best time of 1:16.221. In the afternoon, Sebastian did a series of long runs so that the team and the driver could replicate several of the scenarios they will face in Melbourne in around a fortnight's time.
Two hours before the end of the session, Vettel was asked to stop at Turn 2, because of an electrical problem. The car was brought back to the garage and it was decided to call a halt to testing.
During the lunch break, Team Principal and Managing Director Mattia Binotto met the media to run through how the eight days of testing had gone. "These past days have been very intensive and interesting. We are still focusing on our car to understand its limits in terms of performance and reliability," he said.
"Overall, I am pleased with the work we have carried out," he continued. "I am pleased with how the car behaves and it was well balanced at this track. However, we cannot be completely satisfied at the moment as we would like to be faster and more reliable. So there's still a lot to do. Our programme didn't always run as smoothly as we would have liked, due to reliability issues and Sebastian's crash when a wheel rim broke. There are still many issues to be addressed and we must push forward on the performance front. The fact that our car is running properly is a good starting point, but we are still not ready for Melbourne and I'd say it's a case of a work in progress."
"Both drivers set very similar lap times," concluded Binotto. "We already knew that Charles is a very fast driver, as we have seen throughout his years with the Ferrari Driver Academy and last season in Formula 1. As for Sebastian, his performance shows him to be the multi-world champion we already know."
After two productive weeks at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, the final day of our pre-season test schedule was cut short by a gearbox issue that limited Max to 29 laps of the Spanish Circuit.
Max Verstappen: "The guys in the garage did an amazing job to turn the car around after yesterday's crash and get it on track this morning, but unfortunately we had a gearbox issue and the nature of it meant we had to stop. I think overall we've had a really positive test here. If you look at the longer runs it looks pretty promising. I think we have a good package and the engine works really well, so I'm very happy and I'm looking forward to just going racing now."
Guillaume Rocquelin, Head of Race Engineering: "We came here with a new car, a new engine partner and a new driver, and we leave Barcelona with all of those elements working extremely well together. Problems such as today's inevitably arise during testing and it's a shame that it disrupted our final day. However, I don't think we should let it colour what we have achieved over these two weeks in Barcelona. We've had an enormously productive period of testing and we've learned a great deal about the RB15 and the direction we want to go in as we head into the season. Honda have been outstanding throughout, we have had great reliability and the rapport with the Team is exceptional. It's also a big task for Pierre coming into a new team and he's learned a huge amount - about the car and procedurally. As for the car, the balance is good, the performance is there and we're ready to go racing."
The final day of preseason testing Friday at Circuit de Barcelona - Catalunya again saw Rich Energy Haas F1 Team split driving duties in the VF-19 between Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen.
Grosjean enjoyed a productive morning where he accumulated 73 laps and set the team's fastest outright lap in testing at the 4.655-kilometer (2.892-mile), 16-turn track. His quick time of 1:17.076, utilizing a set of C5 rubber - the softest Pirelli compound available in testing, was good for seventh overall from Friday's 13 participating drivers.
Magnussen was back behind the wheel of the VF-19 in the afternoon focusing on timed runs on the C3 and C4 tires, before setting his personal best lap, a 1:17.565, on the C5 compound - placing him 10th. A race simulation followed, including pit-stops, with Magnussen ending his shift with 94 laps recorded.
In total Rich Energy Haas F1 Team racked up 871 laps in preseason testing for 4054.505 kilometers (2518.932 miles). The mileage was shared between Grosjean (407 laps), Magnussen (403 laps) and Pietro Fittipaldi (61 laps).
Romain Grosjean: "It's been a good morning. We ran our full program, which is very positive. We're finding a bit more time in the car, run-after-run, which is great. I'm generally very happy with winter testing to-date. Maybe we've had a few more issues than we'd have liked, but if we react well and sort them out, there are many things we've ticked in the box. I think we're ready for Melbourne, I'm looking forward to getting there."
Kevin Magnussen: "Overall, I think it's been a productive two weeks in Spain, today's been another good example of that. From the start the VF-19's felt good, and I can see how we've continued to make progress each day in terms of balance and performance. Of course, you never get enough miles in testing, that's just the way it goes, but I'm happy with what's been achieved. There's a lot more work to do before we hit the track in Melbourne, but from my side, I can't wait to start the season and go racing again."
Guenther Steiner: "We've had our best day of the test today, and it's always good to leave on a high. We completed our run plan with Romain (Grosjean) in the morning, and our race simulation in the afternoon with Kevin (Magnussen). It's been very positive, and all went well. Our testing's been a little bit up and down, but the outcome at the end is good. We've ultimately done everything we wanted to do. We were maybe a little too nervous at the beginning due to a few problems, but we sorted them, and it seems now that the car is running well. Hopefully we've found our issues, that's why you go testing. I'm pretty happy with our two weeks of testing."
Check out our Friday gallery from Barcelona, here.