2018 Spain in-season test – day one

Tuesday 15 May 2018

Drivers Stoffel Vandoorne, Lando Norris (Pirelli), Oliver Turvey (Pirelli)
Location Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya (4.655km/2.892 miles)
Laps/km/miles Stoffel 85/396km/246miles, Lando 76/354km/220miles, Oliver 58/270km/168miles, total 219/1019km/633miles
Best lap-times Stoffel 1:18.981s, Lando 1:20.997s, Oliver 1:23.070s


Stoffel got behind the wheel of the McLaren MCL33 for a full day of running, building on the tests conducted of the new parts brought to the track during the Spanish Grand Prix weekend. His run programme centred on shorter runs with multiple changes between them, as the team took the opportunity to test a number of different components, settings, tyre compounds and fuel loads, and analyse aero correlation.
On the Pirelli car, Lando ran a low-fuel programme in the morning, while Oliver ran with a higher fuel set-up in the afternoon. Both Pirelli and the team were satisfied with the running conducted during today’s closed test with the sister McLaren, and reported that both drivers completed their planned programmes in each session.

Stoffel Vandoorne

“Today’s programme had a bit of a slow start as we were checking and testing various things, but in general it’s been quite positive.
“We went through a lot of analysis of the new aero package and did a number of tests to understand it a bit better and get a read on exactly how it’s affecting the behaviour of the car. We also did a bit of tyre testing, which again helped us gather some more useful information for set-up.
“In the end, we did some good mileage, and I’m pretty happy with the learning from today. Tomorrow I’m driving the Pirelli car – a different programme entirely from today, but still a good opportunity for more time in the car.”

Lando Norris, Test and Reserve Driver

“Today was half a day in the car, and my first actual test in the McLaren MCL33 after only one lap at the car launch. Also, it was my first test with the Renault power unit and on a pretty cool track to test a Formula 1 car – very high downforce, very fast. It was a Pirelli test and it all went smoothly.
“We can’t touch the car in any way, we have to leave it exactly how we start the test. So, there’s a lot of time for me to try different things for myself, but at the same time try to feel the differences in the tyres Pirelli gives us. There’s a lot of stuff to test, so it’s quite full-on, and I only got out the car once this morning. It’s good to try and do quite a lot of laps in one go and get used to the car again.
“Tomorrow I’ll be able to push the pace a bit more in the McLaren car. This track is quite tough physically, so to get 76 laps in was good. To have a clean morning and get that many laps in was good for my confidence. I feel pretty confident in the car already.”

Oliver Turvey, Test and Development Driver

“I’m happy with how my afternoon in the car went today. It’s good to get time in the car – I do a lot of work in the factory simulator with the team, so you always want to try and correlate that to the track. It’s a great opportunity to drive here in Barcelona as well. It’s one of the best test tracks, and with the new tarmac it’s good to get a feeling for the new surface.
“Today I was working on the tyre programme with Pirelli, and even though it’s a closed programme and I was doing short runs on high fuel, I could still get a feeling for the car and the tyre changes. I felt pretty good – some areas felt very similar and some a little bit different to the sim. That’s why these days are so useful, because I can then get back in the simulator and correlate the differences. I was impressed with just how similar some things feel.
“It was my first day driving with the Renault engine and you can definitely feel the difference with that compared to last year. It was also beneficial to get some laps in. Since my last outing in Abu Dhabi, the cars have changed a lot – it’s hard to compare track-to-track, but I feel a step forward in the car from last year. The level of downforce and grip is higher, and it’s a nicer car to drive.”

Eric Boullier, Racing Director

“Today was a solid day of testing on both cars. Stoffel’s programme started a little slowly as we took the opportunity to test, check and change various set-up configurations, but we quickly got back on track with our run plan late morning.
“We gathered a useful amount of data on our new aero package to complement our learnings from the weekend, which is helpful as we continue our development push into the next few races. It’s positive that we’ve also been able to give some good mileage in the MCL33 to both Lando and Oliver for the first time this season – good experience for them and useful feedback for the team.
“Tomorrow’s McLaren programme will continue in the same vein as today’s, with Lando behind the wheel picking up where Stoffel left off to conduct more valuable tests on our updated package before we head to Monaco. Meanwhile, Stoffel will jump into the sister car for another full day of running to assist Pirelli with its tyre test.”

Today’s times

1. Max Verstappen Red Bull Racing 1:17.528 148 laps
2. Carlos Sainz Renault 1:17.562 119 laps
3. Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1:17.659 136 laps
4. Romain Grosjean Haas 1:18.449 129 laps
5. Nicholas Latifi Force India 1:18.530 107 laps
6. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:18.543 151 laps
7. Stoffel Vandoorne McLaren 1:18.981 85 laps
8. Antonio Giovinazzi Sauber 1:19.693 135 laps
9. Oliver Rowland Williams 1:20.009 121 laps
10. Lando Norris McLaren 1:20.997 76 laps
11. George Russell Force India 1:21.478 123 laps
12. Sean Gelael Toro Rosso 1:21.935 50 laps
13. Oliver Turvey McLaren 1:23.070 58 laps

What’s next?

Lando gets behind the wheel of the McLaren MCL33 for his first full day of testing in the updated package, while Stoffel takes over Pirelli tyre testing duties.

Test dates

Two days (Tuesday 15 and Wednesday 16 May).