Thursday 01 March 2018
Driver:                     Max Verstappen
Car:                        RB14
Laps:                       35
Best time:               1:22.058
Circuit length:        4.655km
Fastest Lap:            L. Hamilton  (1:19.333)
Max Verstappen brought Aston Martin Red Bull Racing’s first week of pre-season testing to close today in a stop-start session that was again affected by the conditions at the Circuit de Catalunya and by niggling technical issues. In the morning the team opted for limited running on the damp and cold circuit, with Max putting in 18 laps and focusing on short runs and aero testing. With the track drying in the afternoon more aero work was conducted before a mechanical issue affected running. A late spin for Max then saw his day end prematurely.

“Today we didn’t do any performance laps, but when you have conditions such as this, which are not ideal, then it’s best to just focus on making sure everything is working in the way you want and that the data you’re getting correlates to what is happening in the wind tunnel and that’s what we did,” said Max. “We had a couple of little hiccups today and then in the afternoon I had a little moment where I went into the gravel, tried to the reverse but it got stuck. However, I’m quite happy with the car so far, and maybe the second week will show a bit more how we compare against our rivals. I certainly hope it’s a bit sunnier next week.”

Head of Race Engineering Guillaume Rocquelin added: “Not an ideal end to what has been a pretty tricky week. In the early morning the track took a long time to get to a condition where we felt there was any point in running, and then we focused mainly on aero work. We were finally able to run on dry tyres from about 2pm onwards. We had a reliability issue in the afternoon, and Max had a spin, which led to us calling a halt, but the issues we had are easy fixes and in general we’re pretty happy with how the car runs, so now it’s about building on what we have. The real difficulty this week was in not being able to maximise the time available and that was a bit frustrating. However, we are reasonably happy with what the RB14 delivered in its first outing and we now have a bit of time back at base to work on next week’s test, when hopefully the weather conditions will be a bit kinder.”