Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Rosberg leads the way for Mercedes on Day 1 of testing in Barcelona

(Mercedes AMG PETRONAS F1 Team)

Spanish Grand Prix winner Mercedes AMG PETRONAS F1 Team’s Nico Rosberg set the fastest time on the opening day of the in-season test at the Circuit De Barcelona Catalunya. The German set a fastest time of 1m 24.374s completing 146 laps of the Montmelo circuit for the Brackley based outfit.

Rosberg will now had over the W05 to Pascal Wehrlein who will complete the test for the Silver Arrows tomorrow.

The Sauber F1 Team’s Marcus Ericsson was second fastest completing 98 laps of the Circuit De Barcelona Catalunya with a fastest time of 1m 26.624s. Speaking following the session, Sauber F1 Team’s Test engineer, Paul Russell commented saying:

It was a good day for us. Marcus was quite happy with the results. We were able to go through a list of things that could not be done during a race weekend. Now we have to analyse our data and prepare for the test tomorrow.’

Marcus Ericsson commented on his day saying:

“I am happy. Today was very productive as we went through the planned programme. After the lunch break we were able to run trouble-free and I completed almost a hundred laps. We gathered a lot of information, driving on different tyre compounds. This was very encouraging for the next race and the future.”
The Swiss based outfit’s reserve driver Raffaele Marciello will take over the C34 for tomorrow’s second day.

Marciello was third fastest for the Scuderia Ferrari team, setting a fastest time of 1m 26.684s completing a total of 125 laps. The Maranello based outfits test and reserve driver Esteban Gutierrez will drive the SF15-T tomorrow.

Infiniti Red Bull Racing’s Daniil Kvyat was fourth fastest in the RB11 setting a fastest time of 1m 26.904s completing 101 laps. The Russian will hand over to Pierre Gasly who will be in the car on Wednesday. Speaking following the session, Kvyat stated:

'Overall it was a very positive day – the work got done, We lost a couple of hours in the morning but had a really strong afternoon and managed to recover most of the programme – which was very important. We are limited in what we can test on a Friday at a race meeting so these sessions are very important to us. They’re crucial in helping us understand how the car is working, and for gathering as much information as possible. What we learned today will help us progress.'

Infiniti Red Bull Racing's Head of Race Engineering, Giullaume Rocquelin commented by saying:

'Once the car was ready the programme went really well and we had a good, solid day of testing. We concentrated on suspension and aerodynamic work, changing car parameters and trying different things. We brought some new parts to the Spanish Grand Prix race weekend and today we were able to test those in more detail.'

The Lotus F1 Team’s Pastor Maldonado was fifth fastest for the Enstone outfit completing 60 laps in the E23-03 Hybrid, setting a time of 1m 27.338s. Speaking following his day in the car the Venezuelan stated:

The car was in good shape and we ran through a lot of our programme in the morning. We made strong progress with some positive conclusions about the parts we ran which is encouraging for the future. Track conditions today were better than in the race here two days ago in terms of the wind and level of grip which was beneficial to us. We did do some work for the next race in Monaco so we hope to be fighting strongly there.’

Lotus F1 Team’s test driver Jolyon Palmer will be action for the outfit on Wednesday. Speaking at the end of the track action, Trackside Operations Director at the Lotus F1 Team, Alan Permane commented saying:

We enjoyed a productive morning in very hot conditions and were able to run though a significant number of tests of new parts as well as configurations of parts and different set-ups, all of which has been very promising. Our running in the afternoon was curtailed somewhat as we stopped running early as a precautionary measure to replace the fuel system ahead of tomorrow’s running, but it has still been a positive day.’

Nick Yelloly was in action for the Sahara Force India Formula One Team completing 109 laps on his Formula One debut in the VJM08. He ended the day in sixth place with a fastest time of 1m 27.396s. Speaking following the test, Yelloly stated:

It felt really good to finally get my chance in a Formula One car. I’ve been working towards this day for a long time and I need to say a big ‘thank you’ to everyone at Sahara Force India for giving me this opportunity. The first few laps felt a bit unusual, but I soon got comfortable in the car. One of the first things I noticed was the directness of the power steering compared to a GP2 car because you only have to put a slight input and the car responds immediately. The set-up was pretty much where we needed it straight away and we just chipped away at it making a few small adjustments during the day. The main focus was on aero and we did a big sweep in the morning, but I also got the chance to run on soft tyres in the afternoon. I’m feeling really positive about the day and I hope it’s been useful for the team.’

Sahara Force India Formula One Team’s Chief Race Engineer Tom McCullough commented saying:

“It’s always enjoyable seeing a young driver get to grips with a Formula One car for the first time. Nick was clearly excited about the opportunity, but he was very mature with his approach and he impressed the team with his feedback. He didn’t put a foot wrong all day and helped us gather a lot of very useful data.
“Our main focus was to gather pressure tapping data with various rakes and hardware fitted to the car. Nick’s extensive experience on our simulator helped him get up-to-speed quickly and ensured we completed a rather ambitious job list. Nick's experience in the VJM08 today will be invaluable as we continue to develop our simulator back at base.”

Pierre Gasly was in action for Scuderia Toro Rosso completing 131 laps ending the day in seventh place with a fastest time of 1m 27.639s.

Williams Martini Racing Team’s Felipe Massa was eighth fastest for the Grove based outfit completing 54 laps ending his programme early. The Brazilian’s fastest time of the day was a 1m 29.911s. Speaking following the day of action, Massa said:

It has been a productive day and we got through the programme without any issues. In the morning we looked at aero work so I had a lot of equipment attached to the car. We then looked at set-up work in the afternoon. We had data from the weekend to start off with as a base and could move forward from there. There was a little less wind today than the last few days hence why lap times are a bit quicker. I will now turn my focus to Monaco which I am really looking forward to.

Williams Martini Racing’s Chief Test and Support Engineer Rod Nelson commented saying:

We had a good day with development work on this and next years' cars. The conditions are similar to the weekend so we had the chance to get straight on with our programme. We completed everything we had planned and made good progress with the focus on tyre degradation. We have had no issues throughout the day which has given us a lot of data to get through tonight whilst we prepare the car for Alex tomorrow.

Williams development driver Alex Lynn will make his debut with the team tomorrow.

McLaren Honda’s Oliver Turvey rounded out the times in ninth place with a fastest time of 1m 28.542s completing 68 laps. The Woking based outfit’s race driver Jenson Button will conclude the test in MP4-30 on Wednesday.

© Ben Johnston 2015

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