Kimi Räikkönen returned to the cockpit of the E21 following yesterday’s absence through illness, only for the gearbox of his car to issue its own sick-note causing a lengthy interruption to running on the final day of pre-season testing at the Circuit de Catalunya.
The E21 remained in the garage for much of the morning as the team diagnosed, rectified and replaced the gearbox for Kimi to run in the afternoon; the Finn eventually completing 50 laps and setting the fifth fastest time of the day.
- Track: Barcelona, Spain, 5.9km
- Chassis: E21-02
- Weather: Sunny, dry, ambient 6-18°C, track 8-26°C
- Programme: System checks, temperature monitoring, data correlation, assessment of the performance of the car with updated aerodynamic package (including new front and rear wing evaluation), set-up changes
- Laps Completed: 50
- Classification: P5, 1:21.568
- Interruptions: Gearbox fault investigation and subsequent change
We head to Melbourne for the first race of the season.
“I was sick yesterday and the car was sick this morning. It’s not what you want, but you go testing to find out if there are any problems with the car. For sure, we haven’t completed all the laps we wanted during pre-season, but that is often the case. We’ve found a few issues and we have solutions for them, which is positive. Personally, I felt much better today and I was fine driving. We ran through a lot of assessments this afternoon and the feeling in the team is that we have a strong basis to start the season; even if we haven’t shown that every day. I’m happy with the car and looking forward to going racing.”
James Allison, Technical Director:
“Today was something like this entire test in microcosm; we spent too much of the day in the garage, but when we did get out on track we made good progress. A definite positive is that we are not finding it difficult to be on the pace. Today’s gearbox problem was the same as we experienced previously but we’re confident we have a solution and are not concerned about it causing us any issues in Melbourne. We were able to confirm some aspects of the Melbourne aero package this afternoon and have some more new parts to be run in Australia. Overall we would have been happy with far more pre-season running, but we have not had any difficulties getting a good lap time out of the car without resorting to low fuel runs at any of the tests.”
Eric Boullier, Team Principal:
“Pre-season testing was not perfect for us but we are confident in what we have seen from the E21. We had glitches and we didn’t complete as many laps as we wanted, yet we still completed most of the assessments we required and have a good platform heading to the first race of the season. It was good to see Kimi back in the car today to take over from Davide and Romain’s work yesterday. It’s certain going to be a highly competitive season but I’m confident that we’ll be right in the battle at the front.”