(Lotus F1 Team)
The Lotus F1 Team’s test driver Jolyon Palmer set the fastest time on the final day of the opening in-season test at the Circuit De Barcelona Catalunya.
The 2014 GP2 champion completed 85 laps in the E23-03 Hybrid with a fastest time of 1m 26.080s. It was the second time that the Englishman was in the car since Friday as he drove in place of Romain Grosjean during Free Practice One for the Spanish Grand Prix. Speaking following his day in the car, Palmer stated:
‘It was great to be in the car for a full day of productive testing especially here in Barcelona where I tested in the pre-season and then drove in FP1. I think we’ve made real progress as a team with the set-up of the car and I know I’m improving every time I get in the car. We ran through a lot of different programmes and assessments and it was a great day at the office for me.’
The Enstone outfit’s Trackside Operations Director Alan Permane commented by saying:
‘Today was a solid day of testing and evaluation and Jolyon delivered everything we wanted and expected of him. The morning was more focused on aero assessments whilst in the afternoon we looked more at set-up permutations. Our focus was general improvement to the car and data collection as well as looking at potential gains for Monaco next week. We’ve plenty to work on back at Enstone before we return to race action next week.’
The Mercedes AMG PETRONAS F1 Team’s Pascal Wehrlein completed 137 laps of the Montmelo circuit and set a fastest time of 1m 26.497s. Speaking following the day of running, Wehrlein commented by saying:
Pierre Gasly took over from Daniil Kvyat at Infiniti Red Bull Racing on Wednesday after driving the Toro Rosso ST10 on Tuesday. Gasly completed 74 laps and set a fastest time of 1m 26.683s.
It was an extremely productive day for the McLaren Honda F1 Team as Jenson Button ended the test in fourth place completing a total of 100 laps in the MP4-30 with a fastest time of 1m 26.927s ending the day just under three tenths of a second behind Gasly.
Button reported that the changes that the team made during the test had paid off in solving the rear balance problems that they had encountered over the course of Sunday’s race.
The team also worked on preparing for the low downforce set up of the Monaco Grand Prix which is next on the Formula One calendar. The Woking based outfit also carried out high downforce set up work for the race in Canada which proceeds the event in Monaco.
Williams Martini Racing Team’s development driver Alex Lynn made his debut for the Grove based outfit on Wednesday completing 52 laps of the 4.655Km Barcelona circuit. The 21 year old Englishman set the fifth fastest time of the day with a 1m 26.967s. Speaking following his first outing for the team, Lynn stated:
‘I didn’t really sleep that well last night as I was so excited about today. It has been an amazing day and great to get behind the wheel of the FW37. We managed to get through a really important schedule and I completed a number of runs in the car. The team were happy with how we got on and with my performance, so all-in-all it has been a really positive day.’
Williams Martini Racing Team’s Chief Test and Support Engineer Rod Nelson commented saying:
‘It has been a good day with Alex in the car, his first time in a Williams. He has done quite a bit in the simulator back in Grove but it’s a bit different when you actually get in the car. We have been impressed with his speed and maturity throughout the day and he has helped us with some chassis and aero work. It has been a positive day and he has done a really good job.’
Mercedes backed driver Esteban Ocon was in action for the Sahara Force India Formula One Team, completing 94 laps with a fastest time of 1m 27.520s to end the test in 6th place in the VJM08-01. Speaking following the session, Ocon stated:
“I was very happy to get the opportunity to drive today and I’m pleased with how things went. It’s always good to get more experience in a Formula One car and I’ve learned a huge amount about this car and this team. We worked on a lot of things – mainly on the aero side and we completed most of the things we had planned. The team has given me some good feedback and I improved during the day – step by step with each run. I hope I get another chance to drive a Formula One car soon.”
Sahara Force India Formula One Team’s Chief Race Engineer Tom McCulloch commented by saying:
‘It has been a pleasure working with Esteban, who is clearly a very talented young driver with a bright future ahead of him. Due to the late call-up, he was at the track until quite late last night completing the seat-fit and getting comfortable in the VJM08. We also had to get him up-to-speed with some of the systems on the car and the steering wheel.
“The programme today progressed relatively smoothly and Esteban did an excellent job. He settled in quickly and improved with each run. Overall it has been an encouraging test for us. We have gathered an enormous amount of aero data using special instrumentation all over the car – data that it’s impossible to capture during a Grand Prix weekend. Analysing this information will play an important role as we push to improve our car performance going forward.’
Esteban Gutierrez was in action for the Scuderia Ferrari Formula One Team was seventh fastest setting a time of 1m 27.930s completing 117 laps in the SF15-T.
Carlos Sainz was eighth fastest for Scuderia Toro Rosso with a fastest time of 1m 27.997s completing 124 laps. The Sauber F1 Team’s Raffaele Marciello rounded out the time sheets in ninth place in the C34 with a fastest time of 1m 28.829s completing 75 laps. Speaking following the day of running, Marciello stated:
‘In the morning we started as scheduled, but were than stopped by an incident, which hurt our programme. The team did a perfect job to put the car back together in around just two hours. Once the car was ready the programme went well and we had a good, solid afternoon of testing. I am positive about what data and other information we were able to collect for future races.’
The Sauber F1 Team’s Test Engineer Paul Russell commented by saying:
‘Unfortunately in the morning when we focused on aero measurements and correlation didn’t start well. The incident in turn three after four laps caused damage to the left front of the car and delayed our progress. The team did a very good job in getting the car back on track before lunch time. In the afternoon Raffaele went out on track and continued with a shortened programme, focusing on set-up work.’
© Ben Johnston 2015