2018 Barcelona second test – day four report
Friday 9 March 2018
Driver Fernando Alonso
Location Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya (4.655km/2.892 miles)
Best lap-time 1:17.784
After a tough start to the day, the entire McLaren team pulled together to concentrate some solid running into the afternoon session, to round off the final pre-season test before the season proper starts in Melbourne.
Although Fernando took to the track shortly after 09:00hrs to commence his run programme, his progress was cut prematurely short by a problem with the turbo, prompting an engine change which kept him in the garage until the after the track closed for lunch break.
The team worked hard to prepare the car for the afternoon session, and Fernando returned to the track just after it reopened at 14:00hrs. Fernando condensed a huge proportion of today’s run plan into only a few hours of track time, completing significant mileage and ticking off more valuable elements on the test programme.
The day – and the pre-season tests – ended ultimately positively, despite the challenges the last couple of weeks had delivered. Fernando completed 93 laps, posting the second-quickest time of the day.
“Today was a bit of a rollercoaster! This morning we had an engine issue which meant we couldn’t complete any of the morning programme, but the guys did a fantastic job once again to change everything on the car and get us ready as soon as possible.
“We had a very good afternoon, and compressed our full day’s schedule into the afternoon session. We managed to do everything we wanted and I’m quite happy with the result and the final day of testing.
“I think there’s more to come from the car in terms of performance and also of course with reliability, but now we have two important weeks back in the factory to prepare for the first race. We will see exactly where we are in Australia, when everyone is running with maximum performance, but I think it was a very productive two weeks of winter testing for us. We had a lot of new things to prove and test and now we have a couple of weeks to put everything in place.
“I’d like to say well done to the whole team for pushing hard, and now we’re all looking forward to going racing in Melbourne.”
Eric Boullier, Racing Director
“After a difficult start to the day this morning, I’m pleased that we’ve rounded off both today’s programme and the two weeks of pre-season testing on a positive and productive note.
“We suffered a turbo issue in the power unit early on in our morning programme, which we believe was linked to the chassis oil leak on Tuesday. We had put this turbo onto the car overnight after spotting something in the data on the current power unit during installation, and to save time with investigation elected to swap the two elements.
“Unfortunately, this one failed – although the two issues aren’t linked – and it will be sent back to Viry for further analysis and investigation. Nevertheless, the guys and girls in the garage did a phenomenal job to change this new configuration of power unit in four hours so that Fernando could return to the cockpit.
“In the afternoon session the engineers worked hard to condense our programme to provide us with as much track running as possible, and the whole team pulled together to get a significant amount of work done this afternoon.
“Fernando put in some solid laps, and he – and we – have ended the day happy with 93 laps completed after a pretty challenging start. We now will return to the factory armed with massive amounts of data to analyse before we head to Australia in two short weeks. We know we have things to work on, but we also know there’s definite potential in our package, and we’ll be working hard to maximise our reliability so that we have the chance to show our true performance in Melbourne.
“I’d like to say a huge thank you to everyone in the team for their hard work over the past few weeks. Despite the problems we’ve faced, we’re taking home an extra 810km of data back to Woking compared to this time last year, which will help with our analysis and inform the direction we will take with car set-up when we arrive in Melbourne. I know I can speak for the whole team when I say that we already can’t wait to go racing.”
1. Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1:17.221 157 laps
2. Fernando Alonso McLaren 1:17.784 93 laps
3. Carlos Sainz Renault 1:18.092 45 laps
4. Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull Racing 1:18.327 92 laps
5. Romain Grosjean Haas 1:18.412 181 laps
6. Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1:18.825 104 laps
7. Brendon Hartley Toro Rosso 1:18.949 156 laps
8. Esteban Ocon Force India 1:18.967 163 laps
9. Charles Leclerc Sauber F1 Team 1:19.118 75 laps
10. Sergey Sirotkin Williams 1:19.189 105 laps
11. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:19.464 97 laps
12. Lance Stroll Williams 1:19.954 27 laps
The team returns to our factory in Woking for final preparations before heading to Australia in a little over two weeks’ time for the 2018 season opener in Melbourne.
Four days (Tuesday 6 to Friday 9 March).