Wednesday 18 May 2016
Driver: Max Verstappen
Car: Red Bull Racing – TAG Heuer RB12
Best time: 1:23.267 (P1)
Circuit length: 4.655km
Max Verstappen took over in the RB12 for the second and final day of 2016’s first in-season test. Max had a busy day at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, completing 118 laps, running with tyres and a setup similar to those used for the Spanish Grand Prix at the weekend. He finished the day P1 on the timesheet, 0.739s ahead of his nearest rival. Of much greater significance, he completed his program with no reliability issues.
Max carried on the aero development work started yesterday by Daniel Ricciardo. His program, however, had the additional target of getting the driver comfortable in the car and comfortable with his crew. Despite having already won a grand prix in the RB12, Max is still getting to know the car, and thus the great benefit of the test day was allowing him to fine-tune his setup preferences and develop relationships with his engineers and crew.
“It was good to get back in the car today,” said Max afterwards. “The car is good to drive, very enjoyable and we achieved very good mileage. We didn’t have any problems and could run the whole day. For me personally it was good to have the opportunity to get even more comfortable with the car. I was able to try some new things and find ways to improve my performance. I learned a lot about the RB12 today, which is very, very positive.”
Head of Race Engineering, Guillaume Rocquelin added: “A big part of the day was for Max Verstappen to keep working with his crew and his team of engineers, just to build up that rapport. We’ve also been looking at the setup options that he prefers. I know he’s won a race but ultimately he’s only been with us a week, so there’s still a lot that we need to work on together as we get to know each other. We had to go through the various options and evaluate them with Max, see what he likes – things like the layout of his steering wheel and what he wants to see on the display. On top of that we had a normal run plan, very similar to yesterday, working on medium-to-long term development of the car. It went well. We did 118 laps despite doing some really short runs for aero-mapping. It was a very solid day and, overall, a very solid test with 200+ laps, no issues with the car and a good program of work completed.”