PRE-SEASON TEST 1, BARCELONA – DAY ONE
Driver: Daniel Ricciardo
Best time: 1:20.179
Circuit length: 4.655km
Fastest Lap: D. Ricciardo (1:20.179)
After taking to the track for the first time last week in its one-off ‘Disruptobull’ livery for a filming day at Silverstone, Aston Martin Red Bull Racing’s 2018 challenger, the RB14, today returned to its familiar racing colour scheme as testing for the new Formula 1 season got underway at a cold (and late in the day, pretty wet) Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. And after 105 trouble-free laps, Daniel Ricciardo ended the day at the top of timesheet with a best lap of 1:20.179, set in the morning session on medium-compound Pirelli tyres.
“That was… cold! But apart from that it was good,” said Daniel. “In the morning when it was dry everything was fine but in the afternoon the conditions were really tricky. It’s hard to get anything working with tyres in these temperatures, especially as they’ve also re-laid the surface. When the temperature is there it’s good, but when it’s cold there really isn’t any grip! However, it was still a good day and we got over 100 laps done, with, I think, one run of 35 laps. So reliability was solid and hats off to everyone for that. Performance? Yeah, It’s nice to see yourself at the top of the timesheets but in two-degree temperatures you really can’t learn anything!”
Head of Race Engineering Guillaume Rocquelin added: “That was a good start to testing for us. The fact that this year we had the car finished ahead of schedule certainly helped I think; just having that deadline of last week’s filming day meant we had to be able to fire the car up and run. And I think the value of that deadline shows in what we got done today, which is certainly the largest lap total for a first day of pre-season testing that we’ve had in some time. It’s a validation of some of the changes we made over the winter. It was a good outing, we got a lot of laps under our belt and we had good reliability. That’s all you can ask for. It is day one and we take nothing for granted, but overall, we’re pretty pleased with what we achieved.”