Reaction round-up: Barcelona in-season test, day 2
Force India and McLaren were the two teams who worked on tyre development with Pirelli. Pastor Maldonado set the fastest time of the day after a run on the super-soft compound during the afternoon session. Here is a round-up of the driver’s reaction:
“The problems of yesterday made us a bit late out this morning but the afternoon was productive and we did a lot of laps which, considering the time we had, was good. We used the tyres that we used last weekend, as we want to try to understand the car more and in terms of that I think we have learned a lot, so I would say it was a useful, if not perfect, day.”
“Days like today are so valuable as you can’t really test anything effectively during a race weekend. No one run is the same as another, whereas here you can keep certain variables stable and properly compare things back-to-back. Everyone was talking about the exhaust but to be honest I didn’t notice much difference in the sound. Of course, we’re happy to try these things if that’s what the FIA and the fans want us to do. But perhaps this was not the right solution.
“One of the main things we looked at was braking. This is an area where I haven’t felt 100% happy yet this year, so we’re continuously assessing ways to improve on that. We also worked on starts as this has been a bit of a weakness for the team this season. It’s not easy as it’s such a sophisticated procedure and there are some highly complex parts involved like the clutch, for example. But we definitely learned some interesting things.
“Other than that it was the usual setup and engine management work that you’d expect at a test. Our aim is to keep increasing any advantage we can find over our rivals and the team is doing a great job of that. Of course, Monaco is up next and that’s a very different, special race. But our car is strong in all areas and I see no reason why we won’t be just as competitive there.”
“That was a complete day for us and my first normal day of testing this season. We didn’t have any problems and we gained a lot of good running with good track conditions compared to yesterday’s. We ran to plan and completed everything we wanted to do. We learnt a lot more about the car, the set-up and performance is improving all the time so I’m feeling more comfortable to push too. It’s been a big step forward today which hopefully means we’ll be much better for the rest of the season.”
“This has been a fantastic day for me: my first experience in a Formula 1 car, and a really great opportunity to get plenty of laps under my belt. I want to say a big thank-you to the team – everyone has been incredibly helpful and positive. It’s also great to have been able to contribute to the test programme: 136 laps today was a fantastic achievement, and it’s great that it’s earned me the right to be granted a Formula 1 Superlicence.
“Now my focus turns towards my next event – the GP2 races in Monte-Carlo next Friday and Saturday. I’m looking forward to bouncing back from a tricky weekend in Barcelona, and would love to get some great results in Monaco.”
“I enjoyed today. It was my second day of testing with the team and it was a valuable opportunity to continue learning about the VJM07. The last time I drove the car was in Jerez in January when the track was cold and damp, so it felt good to have a completely dry day. The main job today was to evaluate tyres for Pirelli so there was not really that much we could change with the set-up. The focus was simply on giving accurate feedback on the tyres and we delivered that successfully.”
“This was my first opportunity to drive the FW36 and I learnt a lot about how to drive these new look cars which are very different to previous seasons. With last year’s car the harder you pushed the faster you went, but now you have to manage certain elements a lot more. The cars also have a lot more torque which was a steep learning curve, and this caught me out at the beginning of the session.
“Overall today was a productive day for the team and we worked very well together to quickly complete our planned aero and mechanical evaluations. I was then able to get some good mileage under my belt to understand the characteristics of the car and how to get the most out of this new style of power unit.”
“We had a very positive morning, exploring some of the work completed yesterday and making small steps in the right direction ready for the performance tests this afternoon. It’s a real shame that we had a mechanical problem, as this lost us pretty much the whole afternoon session and in the end I just had one lap at the end on the Soft tyre.
“Needless to say, I put everything I had into the lap to try to make up for lost time, as the conditions today were perfect to bring everything together. In the end, I am pleased with my lap on the Soft and the big picture from today. The team have done an incredible job over the whole time we have been here in Spain – the race and the test – and credit to the technical personnel back at Banbury for bringing us such a significant upgrade. We leave Spain with some very important information and we know we have taken another step towards the midfield.”
Paul Hembery, Pirelli motorsport director
“With rain affecting the first day of testing, the programme was put slightly out of kilter from the beginning, but this is something that you obviously expect and factor into your plans. It was also a good opportunity to try out some new intermediate weather tyres for next year.
“Once the weather became drier, we were able to focus on the new 2015 slick tyres. Following the test in Bahrain, we’re now beginning to build up a good picture of where we stand going into next year, so there is plenty of useful data to analyse heading into the next in-season test after Silverstone.”
Images courtesy of Octane Photographic
Jack Leslie is a freelance motorsport and Formula 1 journalist. He has been part of the Richland F1 team since the very start and made his F1 paddock debut for the website at the 2014 Austrian Grand Prix. Jack also writes for Car Throttle, RumbleStripNews, Formula1Blog, PureF1 and F1 Plus, as well as running a popular blog.