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Barcelona test 27-02... in quotes

NEWS STORY
27/02/2020

The teams reflect as the fifth day of pre-season testing comes to an end.

Mercedes

Valtteri's morning started in damp and slippery conditions, giving him a chance to sample the Intermediate tyre, before the track dried out enough for him to switch focus to longer runs and set-up work.

Mileage was limited for Lewis in the afternoon session, after an oil pressure anomaly caused the engine to shut down as a precautionary measure, bringing an early end to running.

Today's programme focused on running the Intermediate tyre, due to the damp conditions early on, before moving onto continued set-up work and a focus on the C3 tyre.

Valtteri Bottas: Obviously, the running today in the morning was slightly limited with the wet weather. But we got a couple of runs in with the intermediate tyre, which is always useful. We had a good feeling on that tyre in those conditions and gathered some good information. The session was slightly disrupted by red flags, so we missed some of the test items we planned to do. However, we still completed a few good long runs and set-up work - so got some decent mileage in. I have one afternoon left in the car, which I'm really looking forward to. I feel pretty ready to race. We had a few issues here and there, but the team is working on resolving them and we'll sort everything out for tomorrow.

Lewis Hamilton: I only got 14 laps in today, but during those 14 laps, everything was feeling fine. It's obviously not ideal that we didn't get a full day of running in and we experienced this issue, but there are lots of learnings to take from today. Rather than looking at the negatives, we've discovered some things we need to work on, and we'll keep pushing hard to resolve them and keep working away. I'm looking forward to being back in the car tomorrow morning and adding to the mileage we've already achieved.

James Allison: It's frustrating when there's only six days of winter testing, to be spending half of one day in the garage. But, nevertheless, we did some good work this morning with Valtteri. Furthermore, in the solitary run that we managed with Lewis this afternoon, we managed to get a very useful data point from the car. We're happy to have learnt more about its behaviour, and we're reassured that in blustery conditions, that the car has still got a decent turn of pace. We're looking forward to tomorrow, where we'll have a good amount of time with both drivers on the softer tyre compounds; working on single-lap set-up and performance.

Ferrari

Sebastian Vettel rounded off his pre-season testing with 145 laps, equivalent to 675 kilometres. Today, the German went through a trouble-free simulation of an entire race weekend at the wheel of the SF1000.

Overnight rain meant that Sebastian waited for conditions to improve, going out onto the 4,655 km circuit around 20 minutes after the green light, doing an installation lap on intermediate tyres. Then he waited until the track was completely dry before starting a race weekend simulation using the C3, C4 and C5 tyres. Once again today, wind made life difficult for the drivers, particularly at a handful of corners. Just before the lunch break, the four times world champion did a qualifying run, setting his best time of the day in 1:16.841, having completed 48 laps by one o'clock.

The afternoon saw the team rehearse each and every procedure that is undertaken on the Sunday of a Grand Prix. Sebastian alternated between the C2 and C3 compounds for this, completing the 300km race distance without any problems. Before the session ended, the German went back out on track for another series of runs to gather more data relating to the car's handling. In this second test session, Seb has completed a total of 229 laps, or 1,066 kilometres. His winter testing total is therefore 402 laps (1,871 kilometres) equivalent to around six Grands Prix.

The last day of testing sees Charles Leclerc back on track to gather the final mass of data to take back to Maranello in preparation for the opening round of the season.

Sebastian Vettel: "This was a good day in terms of the number of laps we managed to do, as well as for the fact that we got through the programme we had set ourselves. Having said that, I don't think today's times mean much, because, out of the five days of testing we have done here so far, today's track conditions were definitely the worst.

"The overnight rain had washed away all the rubber put down on previous days and, on top of that, the wind got much stronger right from early morning, making it harder to drive. I think we have done a good job, concentrating mainly on what we had to do, without thinking too much about lap times.

"We won't really get a clear picture until Melbourne, but maybe not even there, given that the track is pretty unique. Overall, I'm pleased with the way testing went."

Red Bull

A damp start and strong winds complicated running for the penultimate day of the second Barcelona pre-season test, but despite tricky conditions Max and Alex completed another 92 laps as the Team focused on short runs and data collection. Max was at the wheel of the RB16 in the morning and posted a total of 31 laps before handing the car over to Alex in the afternoon.

Max Verstappen: "It was a bit of a shame with the weather, so we couldn't really run as much as we wanted, but overall it was positive. We spent time driving with the aero rakes, gathering all the data we could and everything went well. Every day we are improving, learning more, and that's exactly what you want from testing. It was never the target to run as many laps as last week. I think we have done our long runs and now it's about checking parts and trying different things. It all takes time and the end result is fewer laps, but I think we tried everything we wanted to today. Regarding the spin I had this morning, I had a look back at the footage and I just clipped a little damp patch, which I didn't see, but yeah, I think I just tried to take a little too much road on the entry!"

Alex Albon: "This afternoon was a little bit disrupted, mostly because of the wind, which was tricky, and it was hard to get a good read on balance, but otherwise it wasn't too bad today. Everything's going well, but of course we need to look at the data as it was not so easy to do direct comparisons today. I think tomorrow the weather should be a lot better. There's still work to do and that's what tomorrow is about - fine-tuning and chipping away at it. We have done a lot of running and I think the positive thing is that we know the direction we're happy with. We have got a good base heading into the start of the season."

Head of Race Engineering, Guillaume Rocquelin: "Today we had pretty tricky conditions on track because it was wet, cold and slippery in the morning and windy in the afternoon. I think it would have been easy to make mistakes and set ourselves back, either by damaging the car or by trying things we don't understand because of the wind. So, we were quite cautious today and I think this was reflected in the amount of laps we completed. We wanted to make sure whatever we did was sensible, both in terms of not doing anything stupid so close to Melbourne, but also, if you're testing you want to make sure you know what's happening. So, we did short runs and changes that were suited to the conditions to make sure we got the most from the day. Tomorrow will be more or less a driver day for Max and Alex to get up to speed and comfortable so they know what to expect in Melbourne."

McLaren

Lando Norris: "I'm happy with the day. We did a lot of laps, a lot of short runs and almost a full race run. We gained a good understanding of the car, both alone on track and following other cars - a bit of a mix really, which is usual at testing.

"It was a decent way to end the pre-season for me, giving us a good understanding of the areas to work on as we prepare for Australia."

James Key, Technical Director: "A full day today with Lando and a different approach compared to the other days of testing. We introduced and tested some further developments today, but beyond that we began to explore the performance of the car and complete some set-up work with Lando before the start of the season. That all worked as planned and gave us some interesting and important information. We look forward to doing the same with Carlos tomorrow.

"This afternoon we did some longer runs which gave us some more information on the car at race fuel levels, which was good practice for Lando on his last day before we hit Melbourne."

Check out our Thursday gallery from Barcelona, here.

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