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Barcelona test 28-02... in quotes

NEWS STORY
28/02/2020

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

Mercedes

Lewis was behind the wheel of the W11 in the morning session, continuing his long-run work from the previous day and collecting additional aero data. Valtteri drove the new car in the final session of the 2020 pre-season test, working on single lap tyre preparation.

Lewis Hamilton: We made it through testing! It's crazy how quickly these past two weeks have gone. It's been intense, with a huge amount of work from everybody at the track and back home at the factories. The car's feeling like a step forward from last year, but it's clear we've still got a few issues we need to iron out ahead of Melbourne. I've got total confidence in the team and know they'll be doing everything they can to make sure we arrive in Australia in a good place. The start of the new season comes around so quickly and now we go racing in just two weeks' time. I can't wait.

Valtteri Bottas: That's it for pre-season testing for another year. I think we can be happy that we've made the most of it, only missing out on a few miles to some small issues. I've already got a nice feeling with the car and it's been good to get the chance to get comfortable with the long and short runs, and practice some starts too. I feel like we've made a step forward in most areas and it's been a successful test. As always we'll be focusing on our own performance and we've got two important weeks coming up now ahead of the first race to put what we've learnt from the test into action.

James Allison: It feels good to wrap up testing at the top of the leaderboard and end two intense weeks for the team with a decent final day on track. We worked through our programme without any hitches today, and spent some time figuring out how best to prepare the tyres for single lap runs. The car's been pretty strong throughout the whole of winter testing and it's been an exciting period for us exploring its potential. We clearly still have some more work to do on the reliability to get us up to the standard that we expect by the start of the season. But if we can do that then I think we've got a decent chance of a good showing in Melbourne.

Ferrari

Ferrari has today finished off its six days of pre-season testing with the SF1000 at Barcelona's Circuit de Catalunya. Charles Leclerc was at the wheel of the car that will compete in the new Formula 1 season that gets under way on March 15 in Australia. On the final day of testing he rounded off the programme with a simulation of a race weekend, just like Sebastian Vettel had done yesterday. Over the course of this second set of three days of testing the car has completed a total of 490 laps (2,281 kilometres). That means the SF1000 will arrive to the season-opener with a total of 844 laps (3,929 kilometres; 13 GP) under its belt.

The Monegasque driver made his way into the cockpit this morning at 9am on the dot, before leaving the garage a couple of minutes later for an installation lap on the C2 tyres. Having come back into the pits, the mechanics carried out their usual checks before starting off the race weekend simulation - going out on C3, C4 and C5 tyres. Shortly before the lunch break, Leclerc carried out a simulation of the three sessions of qualifying, setting his own best time of the day with a lap of 1'16"360. He finished the morning with a total of 76 laps.

Over the course of the afternoon session the team continued with its race simulation. Charles used only C2 tyres, covering the race distance of 66 laps without any issues. Then, to get the most out of the time available, Charles returned to the track - after the car was checked and freshened up - for another series of runs aimed at collecting data to analyse certain components of the car. Overall, in the course of this second session of tests, Leclerc has completed a total of 181 laps, equal to 843 kilometres. The Monegasque driver will therefore arrive at the first race of the 2020 season having already driven a total of 261 laps (2,058 kilometres), the equivalent of the race distance of seven Grands Prix.

Mattia Binotto Team Principal: "I am satisfied with how these winter tests have gone, from the completed programme to the way the team has worked. We approached these two test sessions in a very different way from last year, using the first three days to get to know our car in all the possible configurations.

"Over the last two days, we have carried out race weekend simulations with Sebastian and Charles. I believe the performance over a dry lap isn't yet where we want it to be - while the indications are relatively better when it comes to reliability and long runs too, albeit not yet positive enough.

"We will head back to Maranello with a huge amount of data to analyse in the knowledge that we have a range of work to do. But as a team we feel ready for the Australian Grand Prix, which will give us a clearer idea of where we stand."

Red Bull

The second and final test of F1's pre-season programme concluded today at the Circuit de Catalunya-Barcelona. Alex took charge of the RB16 in the morning with Max taking over after lunch. Concentrating on set-up work, Alex worked on the harder tyre, completing 59 laps before, a little after mid-day, a wind-assisted trip through the gravel cut short his final stint. Alex kept the car going and brought it back to the garage, ready for Max to take over after the break. Max added 45 laps, running through the three compounds from the middle of Pirelli's range and concluding our winter testing a few minutes before the chequered flag.

Alex Albon: "It's been a really solid and smooth six days of testing. We've pushed the mileage and completed a lot of laps, testing and experimenting with a lot of development parts and everything is looking good. We have a lot of data to look through but we now have more of an understanding of the car and we've definitely found some good things, so it's been a positive test. Mercedes are clearly very quick and there's more to see from Ferrari, so it's hard to know for sure where everyone stands at this point. We've been happy with the car since day one and it felt strong from the first lap, but we won't know where we are until we get to Melbourne. I can't believe it's already time to go racing, I'm excited and now I can't wait to get out there."

Max Verstappen: "I definitely feel ready for Melbourne and the last two weeks have been a good preparation. We tried everything we wanted to over the six days which is very important from our side, so I'm happy with that. Overall, I can't complain but that doesn't mean we should stop the hard work and there are always things to improve. No car is ever perfect, especially at this stage in the season, so we will keep pushing to make improvements. Me and Alex had a few moments but I'm not worried and I want to find the limit of the car in testing instead of at the first race. It's better this way rather than being caught out and realising there is more pace in the car in Melbourne. Mercedes also look very fast as expected but I don't really look too much at them as nobody knows exactly what they are doing, so it's better to focus on ourselves. Overall I think the pace looks pretty good, it's been a positive start and I hope it's enough to be competitive in Melbourne."

Guillaume Rocquelin, Head of Race Engineering: "Generally the plan for today was to give the drivers some practice time in the car ahead of Melbourne and that went well. We experimented with a set-up option overnight which didn't quite work out as we had planned but that proved no issue as that's what testing is for. We're quite happy with the balance and performance, particularly when we reverted back to a decent baseline in the afternoon which Max was pleased with. We feel between the reliability and long runs we completed in the first week, and the performance tests in the second, we're quite well prepared for the first race of the season in Australia. Obviously, this year we had six days of testing instead of eight to tick off all the jobs on our list and I think we approached this with a good structure and discipline which meant we were able to make the most of the time given to us."

McLaren

Carlos Sainz: "We've ended testing with a good day. In the morning we managed to tick off some test items I still had left to do, and we managed to make some conclusions and get a clear read of the car. The afternoon was more about long runs and race simulations, testing the car in different conditions, and again this felt like a decent run. Thanks to the whole team for their hard work over the pre-season.

"I think we can say we are now ready for Australia and I can't wait to get there."

Andreas Seidl, Team Principal: "Pre-season testing 2020 completed. It's been a good and productive second test week for us, with plenty of laps covered. We've introduced a number of new updates to the car throughout the week which have worked as expected. The conditions have been varied across the few days, particularly in terms of wind, but this has given us good variations in data.

"This test has been the best for McLaren for some time, with strong reliability enabling us to complete our programme as planned and collect valuable information for analysis. We head to Melbourne feeling prepared for the start of the season, with good information on areas we need to develop and a good understanding of the work to be done.

"We knew coming here that 2020 was shaping up to be a competitive season. This test has only reinforced that. The competition is so close and the fans can expect a tight and exciting battle - it will be a great season to watch.

"Thanks to the entire team, both here in Barcelona and back at the factory. Their hard work over the winter has enabled us to complete these strong pre-season tests. Thanks also go to Renault for their efforts and continued support. Finally, thanks to Carlos and Lando for their commitment throughout the winter and pre-season."

Check out our Friday gallery from Barcelona, here.

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