Tuesday 06 March 2018
PRE-SEASON TEST #2, BARCELONA – DAY ONE
Driver:                     Max Verstappen
Car:                        RB14
Laps:                       130
Best time:               1:20.649
Circuit length:        4.655km
Fastest Lap:            S. Vettel (1:20.396)
Max Verstappen kicked off Aston Martin Red Bull Racing’s final week of testing before the start of the 2018 Formula 1 season by powering through 130 laps of the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya today, on his way to the day’s third best time. The Dutchman logged his lap of 1:20.649 midway through the morning on Pirelli’s medium compound tyre to finish just under three tenths of a second off top spot for the day. Max’s afternoon session was interrupted by a stoppage on track but the team was able to rectify the issue and Max returned to the circuit shortly before the chequered flag.
“It was a good day today. We did a lot of laps and that’s really important, just to put mileage up on the car,” said Max. “We had a small problem with the battery late in the day, so we had to change that and it takes a bit of time, but afterwards it was all good. The car feels good. Everyone of course wants to know where we think we are in relation to our opposition but honestly it’s impossible to tell until we get to Australia, as you don’t know what everyone else is doing. In terms of where this car is improved over last year, again it’s very difficult to say as the new surface here changes how you drive and that, together with the new tyres, makes it difficult to pinpoint any particular area. Also, with the first week not being that successful in terms of temperatures and so on, it’s still all to be discovered. I know it feels faster though!”
Head of Race Engineering Guillaume Rocquelin added: “We had a good start to week two. We got through 85 laps in the morning and everything was running very smoothly. We got a long way through the test programme then, so we were able to try out some things in the afternoon and we took the decision to do some shakedown tests and the result was small electrical problem. We lost an hour as we had to change the battery but it was a calculated risk and we learned something as a result. In all, I’m pretty happy with the amount we got through today. Even though we’re not chasing it, the performance was decent too, so let’s hope for more of the same when Daniel is in the car tomorrow.”