2016 BARCELONA TEST REPORT – DAY FOUR

CIRCUIT DE BARCELONA-CATALUNYA, THURSDAY FEBRUARY 25, 2016

Date Thursday 25 February 2016
Driver Fernando Alonso
Location Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya (4.655km/2.892 miles)
Laps/km/miles 3/14km/9miles
Best lap-time No time set

Programme
Today Fernando Alonso returned to the cockpit for the fourth and final day of the first pre-season test in Barcelona. Although rain was forecast early on, the day started cold but dry and bright, which allowed the team to return to the track promptly at 09:00 as the green flag opened the session.

Overnight, the engineers found the cause of the hydraulic issue – a minor leak in the base of the power unit – but elected to replace the engine as a precaution in advance of today’s running. After three installation laps, the telemetry data showed a small, unrelated coolant leak, which meant the car needed to be completely stripped down in order to perform the necessary checks.

Unfortunately, the nature of the issue meant the fix took the majority of the afternoon to complete, and the team elected to end the day’s running early in order to ensure the issue was properly investigated and rectified.
Despite the curtailed running, the first pre-season test has been largely positive, and has enabled a sizeable amount of valuable integration, evaluation and correlation of our new package’s components. Over the weekend, the data gathered will be processed and analysed, as attentions turns to preparation for next week’s test, where the focus will shift to longer runs and evaluation of the performance characteristics of the chassis and power unit.

Fernando Alonso
“Today was disappointing after starting the first couple of days of the test so positively. Still, it’s good news that although the issue we had on the car meant we had to miss a lot of today’s running, it’s not a major problem and will be fixed in time for next week’s test.

“Overall, we’ve managed a good number of laps during this test, which means we have a lot of data to analyse and learn from. Over the weekend we’ll work hard to get everything prepared for next week, with the aim of getting as much time on track as possible.”

Matt Morris
Director of Engineering
“Unfortunately, the coolant leak we experienced on the car today was in a tricky position, which meant it took longer than usual to locate and fix. It’s always frustrating when a small issue hampers your running for much of a day, but thankfully it’s relatively minor and we can now look to preparing the car for the second test on Tuesday. Testing is testing, and it gives us the opportunity to identify and work on reliability issues before we start the season.

“Over the course of the first four days in Barcelona we’ve done a good amount of running and already learned a lot about our package, which should stand us in good stead for next week. We’re definitely ahead of where we were last year in terms of system checks and integration, so at the second test we’ll be able to focus more on race simulations and setup, as well as characterising our package’s performance.”

“We have a lot of data to go through over the weekend, and we look forward to getting back on track next Tuesday and continuing to get as much mileage under our belts as possible ahead of the first race in Australia.”

Yusuke Hasegawa
Honda R&D Co Ltd Head of F1 Project & Executive Chief Engineer
“Our track time today was severely limited due to a coolant leak issue, which required more time than expected to find and rectify.

“To summarise our first four days of testing, we had a positive start, with confirmation of the improvement of the ERS deployment. However, the latter days revealed that there are areas of the power unit reliability that we need to work on to prepare for Australia onwards.

“In the second test next week, we are aiming to gauge the full performance of the car.”

Today’s unofficial testing times
1. Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1:23.477 79 laps
2. Daniil Kvyat Red Bull 1:24.293 95 laps
3. Alfonso Celis Force India 1:24.840 75 laps
4. Kevin Magnussen Renault 1:25.263 153 laps
5. Max Verstappen Toro Rosso 1:25.393 110 laps
6. Felipe Nasr Sauber 1:26.053 121 laps
7. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:26.187 86 laps
8. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:26.295 99 laps
9. Felipe Massa Williams 1:26.483 54 laps
10. Esteban Gutierrez Haas 1:27.802 89 laps
11. Rio Haryanto Manor 1:28.266 51 laps
12. Fernando Alonso McLaren No time 3 laps

What’s next?
The team will set about analysing this week’s data and preparing the car for next week, before we return to the track for the second and final pre-season test at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya next Tuesday.

Test dates
Four days (Monday 22 February – Thursday 25 February).