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Barcelona test 21-02... in quotes

NEWS STORY
21/02/2020

The teams reflect as the opening pre-season test comes to an end.

Mercedes

Mercedes wrapped up the first of two pre-season tests at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya with a productive third day of running for the new W11 - completing 643 kilometres.

Valtteri was at the wheel for the morning session and topped the timesheets for the day, with the Finn focusing on aero data collection, shorter runs and set-up work. Lewis returned to the cockpit of the W11 for the afternoon, also concentrating on aero data collection and shorter runs, while also working on race start procedures.

Today's programme focused mainly on aero data collection and set-up work as well as practicing race start procedures.

Mercedes-Benz Power Units completed a total of 1,518 km today.

Lewis Hamilton: It's been a great effort from the team and great to see that the reliability is as strong as it is. The car has felt pretty good out there. It's been a solid first week and we've got some good mileage. It's a true showing of all the incredible work everyone has done back at the factory and here at the track. I'm really proud of everyone. We've got to keep working hard, analyse all the data from this week and figure out how we can move the car forward and build on everything next week.

Valtteri Bottas: It's been really fun today, especially getting to do some shorter runs and being able to push the car a little bit closer to the limits - seeing a little bit more of the performance of the car. I enjoyed it and it felt really good out there. It feels like we made a step with the set-up since yesterday. The car is very driveable and I'm sure with some more hard work next week, we can make it better, which will be the goal. Overall, it's been a really good first test, we have made some improvements every day with the car. A big well done to every single team member to deliver the car and engine - great job! I'm looking forward to getting back in the car next week.

James Allison: After the brief hiatus of yesterday, it was good to get a solid day of uninterrupted, reliable running today. Both drivers completed a programme of set-up work and an early look at the softer compound range. Just a very quick glimpse of that, but really useful preparation for the second week of testing where we have more of the soft rubber to bring. It's been a good first week, the car has been broadly reliable, and the performance has been reasonably good throughout the week. There are, of course, many things to work on and we'll be trying to do that in week two. But it's a really good baseline. At the end of this first week, we start to get some sort of feeling for where all the teams are in the pecking order and especially now a few race distances have gone down. But it will be really interesting in the second week as our estimates start to refine further.

Ferrari

The final day of the first pre-season test turned out to be more demanding than expected for Scuderia Ferrari Mission Winnow. Sebastian Vettel completed a total of 100 laps, equivalent to 465.5 kilometres, which was less than planned, because of a problem with the power unit on the SF1000, midway through the morning.

The German started his day at 9 on the dot, putting in some constant speed laps to acquire specific data. Sebastian then continued running to evaluate the SF1000 in various configurations, using the C2 and C3 compound tyres and it was on the latter that he set his best time in 1:18.384.

Vettel did another run shortly before 10.30 but after a few laps there was a problem with the power unit. The team told Vettel to park the car immediately at the side of the track, to limit the damage so that a thorough investigation of the problem could be carried out later. Once back in the garage, the team immediately got on with changing the power unit, sending the damaged one straight off to Maranello. At this point, Vettel had done 40 laps.

At 14.18 the SF1000 was ready for action again and Vettel continued with the programme, doing some practice starts. In the afternoon, the German did a further 60 laps, bringing the day's total to 100. In his day and a half at the wheel, Seb completed 173 laps, equivalent to 805 kilometres (almost three race distances). In its first three days on track, the SF1000 did 354 laps, or 1,648 kilometres.

Mattia Binotto Team Principal: We adopted a radically different approach to this first pre-season test compared to last year's. So far, we have concentrated on evaluating every aspect of the car's potential, running several different configurations, both aero and mechanical, so as to gather as much data as possible.

We will now go home and analyse it all, comparing it to that gathered in the simulations we ran on the computer and on the actual simulator we have in Maranello.

In next week's test, we will begin to investigate the performance side, working on set-up and moving forward with the usual tests in qualifying and race trim in order to be well prepared for the opening round in Australia.

Red Bull

The final day of Formula One's first pre-season test of 2020 saw both Max and Alex in action at the Circuit de Catalunya, with Max running in the morning session and Alex taking over in the afternoon. With the focus still on long runs, the pair were able to post another impressive total of 169 laps to take the RB16's overall count to 471 for Test 1.

Max Verstappen: "We got another good amount of laps today and for this first week of testing that's really important as we try to understand the new car. We're not chasing lap time; it's not about that. It's about scanning and testing everything on the car, making sure everything works well and that it's reliable. It's been really positive and the car has felt good all week. We still have a lot of things to learn on the car and that will continue next week, but at the end of this first test I'm happy and can't complain."

With several red flags in the afternoon interrupting running, Alex's stint in the car was slightly fragmented but the Thai driver was still pleased with how his first outings in the RB16 unfolded.

Alex Albon: "This week we were focused more on reliability and systems checks than anything else and everything went very smoothly. The car feels good and each time we went out it felt better and better. It's all about gaining experience of the car, learning what we can do with it and getting ready for Melbourne. The main areas we needed to work on have definitely improved. I think we're looking strong and compared to last year we've made a good step forward. I think we've hit the ground running and we have a very good baseline now for next week."

Head of Race Engineering, Guillaume Rocquelin, added: "It's been a very successful test for the whole Team and in my opinion one of the most satisfying first weeks of pre-season testing we've had in some time. We had no issues, and the car ran very smoothly throughout. We did have a small issue on the car in the morning but it was an easy fix and Max was able to complete a full race simulation. We were on course for the same with Alex in the afternoon, but unfortunately there were a few red flags so we didn't quite get everything done. Despite those delays he was still able to get through more than 80 laps so we're very happy. We're in good shape and we've now got a very good platform heading into the second week where we'll hopefully add some more performance."

McLaren

Carlos Sainz: "In general, it's been another good morning going through the whole test programme, still understanding the new car and working through our test items. I'm looking forward to going into a second week of testing after a positive first one."

Lando Norris: "It's been a decent day. It wasn't perfect, with a few little setbacks here and there, and a few red flags too which meant we didn't get to do as many laps as planned, but we only missed a few. Apart from that, I got a better feeling for the car and I feel more confident. We've taken a few little steps forward.

"On the whole, it was a positive day. These first three days have been a positive way to start the season and to set us up for next week."

Andreas Seidl, Team Principal: "Winter testing part one, completed. I'm very happy with the outcome of this test, thanks to thorough preparation and very disciplined and focused execution by the entire team. We were able to tick all the boxes we had on our job list for this first part of the winter testing campaign.

"In terms of reliability, it was the best first winter test we've had in many years. That's a great reward for everyone in the team, and proof that the hard work done over the winter is paying off.

"Regarding performance, the car behaved as expected given the different steps and tests we completed over the last three days.

"We'll use the next few days until the second test to analyse all the data we have collected in detail. We'll come back next Wednesday and keep working on our preparation for Melbourne and extracting more performance from the MCL35.

"Thanks to the entire team here at the track and back home in Woking, to our colleagues from Renault, and to Lando and Carlos for their hard work and commitment. We go again."

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