Circuit: Catalunya, 4.655 kms
Driver: Jean-Eric Vergne
Car: STR8 chassis number 03
Best time: 1:23.223
For the penultimate day of pre-season testing, the eleven Formula 1 teams were finally able to do a day’s running without having to fit wet weather tyres. In fact with an ambient temperature of 16 degrees and the track hitting 30, it was the first time over the two weeks in Barcelona that conditions began to approach those one can expect to encounter at some of the races. In the morning, with Jean-Eric back behind the wheel, the team continued to work through a list of test items, focussing on suspension settings. Then, in the afternoon, the Frenchman completed a full race simulation, with the STR8 running trouble-free throughout. During the “race” Jev used no less than three different Pirelli compounds to pull in as much useful data as possible. Daniel Ricciardo will drive tomorrow, on a similar programme, with test items in the morning and a race sim to round off the 12 days of winter testing.
Jean-Eric Vergne: “We got through a lot of work and it was a positive day, after the difficulties of working in the cold and wet conditions on the previous days. We can ignore the lap times, because, unlike some other teams we did not do a qualifying simulation. However, our race simulation this afternoon went well. On the tyre front, we saw a lot of degradation here in Barcelona, but I think it will be a different story when we get to Melbourne. In general, the testing has gone well and even though we still have work to do before the first race, we tested a lot of items this week. Our performance? We are definitely looking better than last year, but where we are compared to the others is still difficult to say.”