Wednesday 07 March 2018
Driver:                    Daniel Ricciardo
Car:                        RB14
Laps:                      165
Best time:              1:18.047
Circuit length:       4.655km
Fastest Lap:           D. Ricciardo (1:18.047)
Daniel Ricciardo today returned to the cockpit of the Aston Martin Red Bull Racing RB14 for a marathon outing that resulted in the ‘Honey Badger’ claiming top spot on the timesheet, and the fastest ever time around the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, with a lap of 1:18.047, set on Pirelli’s new hypersoft tyres. Daniel also took the lap count honours, with a total of 164 laps on a highly productive day’s testing for the team.
“It was a good day today. I survived!” said Daniel, who was scheduled to drive yesterday but was forced to sit out the session due a mild illness. “Today’s was an optimistic run plan and I didn’t think we’d get that much done but we got through all of it, so that was good. I think I’ll sleep well tonight! It was a good bunch of laps today and I got a few quick ones in there, which was nice. The hypersoft tyre helped of course but we made some changes early this morning and after some medium runs then we went to the softer tyres and the changes we made seemed to help the car so there was just a bit more confidence and the track was a good temperature today so we could start to get some real testing in. It was OK; I would have liked to get into the 17s, but we’ll save that for the racing. In terms of the shape we’re in, I think we’re getting there, we’re in a decent place.”
Head of Race Engineering Guillaume Rocquelin added: “On most days at testing you draw up your run plan, with every minute of the day accounted for, and within an hour you’ve torn that up and started to move things around. Today wasn’t like that and we managed to get through every item on the agenda. We focused largely on working as if at a grand prix weekend, so we tried a variety of tyre compounds, we did long runs on high fuel and then a full race simulation, including pit stops and everything. I think the hardest part of today was for Daniel, who wasn’t well yesterday. These are fit guys, but when you’re not in top form to be asked to get through the workload he did today and lap in the 1m18s is pretty impressive, so hats off to him. In all, it was a very good day for us today. We’ll do the same programme with Max tomorrow and hopefully we’ll maintain the level of reliability we showed today.”