2018 Barcelona first test – day four report

Thursday 1 March 2018

Driver Stoffel Vandoorne/Fernando Alonso

Location Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya (4.655km/2.892 miles)

Laps/km/miles Stoffel 110/512km/318miles, Fernando 51/237km/147miles, total 161/749km/466miles

Best lap-time Stoffel 1:19.854s, Fernando 1:20.929s

Programme

A very positive and productive day of running at the fourth and final day of the first 2018 pre-season test.

Track conditions started very wet from heavy rain overnight, which made early-morning running tricky and meant a slower-than-usual start to the programme. As the track dried out Stoffel was able to quickly and efficiently run through a comprehensive test plan, which included key correlation, component and aero tests that necessitated all-important mileage.

As the track was kept green throughout the traditional lunch break, Stoffel continued consistent running into the mid-afternoon, when the team handed the reins over to Fernando at around 16:00hrs, giving him the opportunity to make up for some of the lost track time yesterday due to bad weather.

Stoffel completed a solid 110 laps and posted the second-fastest time of the day, while Fernando did 51 and finished fifth on the timesheets, bringing McLaren’s total for the final day of test one to 161 laps.

Stoffel Vandoorne

“Today was a very productive session for me. The day started off a little bit slowly with the bad weather conditions and it took a long time for the track to dry up, but even with that to deal with we still completed a lot of mileage and got a good understanding of the car.

“It feels good to get a good amount of laps on the board after we missed out a bit over the past few days. When the track started to dry I did some very good running and completed a lot of set-up changes, trying to understand our package and how everything works together, and the feeling was positive.

“I finished today with 110 laps and it’s been a long time since we’ve been able to do this. We had time to put Fernando in the car too for the final part of the session, so altogether a very productive day.”

Fernando Alonso

“I’m very happy with what has been an impressive day from the whole team in the garage and at the factory to put that amount of laps on the board between Stoffel and myself.

“The car ran perfectly all day. We did some interesting runs with some set-up changes, and we keep discovering more about the new package each time, especially with the integration of the Renault engine that was previously unknown for us.

“It was a very productive day for all of us and I’d like to say well done to everyone for working hard to get through a very full and comprehensive test programme today.”

Eric Boullier, Racing Director

“Today we’ve run reliably all day, which is a very positive way to end the first week of testing. We had some small glitches in the first two days which caused us to lose a disproportionate amount of track time, and the weather didn’t help any of us yesterday, but today everything fell into place.

“I’m happy we’ve finally been able to run a full test programme today and follow our plan, which has given us some solid data and feedback from the factory. Being ‘winter world champions’ on the timesheets is not of interest to us – the important things are mileage and learning – and today we’re very satisfied with what we have managed to achieve.

“Recovering mileage was our top priority in order to get back on schedule, and now we can regroup and use the data we’ve gathered to redefine our test programme for next week. Now we have the initial test programme done and under our belt, the objectives for test two are running a race distance and practising pitstops – we’re giving the latter more focus and new equipment this year, so that will be the key.”

Today’s times

1. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:19.333 69 laps

2. Stoffel Vandoorne McLaren 1:19.854 110 laps

3. Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1:20.241 120 laps

4. Kevin Magnussen Haas 1:20.317 96 laps

5. Fernando Alonso McLaren 1:20.929 51 laps 

6. Carlos Sainz Renault 1:20.940 60 laps

7. Lance Stroll Williams 1:21.142 54 laps

8. Sergio Perez Force India 1:21.973 65 laps

9. Max Verstappen Red Bull Racing 1:22.058 35 laps

10. Pierre Gasly Toro Rosso 1:22.134 147 laps

11. Nico Hulkenberg Renault 1:22.507 49 laps

12. Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1:22.789 60 laps

13. Charles Leclerc Sauber 1:22.808 59 laps

14. Marcus Ericsson Sauber 1:23.825 79 laps

15. Sergey Sirotkin Williams 1:31.979 47 laps

What’s next?

The team will be busy spending the long weekend break crunching the data with the engineers back at the factory, and preparing the car to run at next week’s final pre-season test.

Test dates

Four days (Monday 26 February – Thursday 1 March).