Tuesday 28 February 2017
Driver: Max Verstappen
Best time: 1:22.200
Circuit length: 4.655km
Fastest Lap: K. Raikkonen (1:20.960)
After a stop-start opening day in Barcelona, the new RB13 got into its stride on day two of testing, with Max Verstappen posting 89 trouble-free laps of the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. The Dutchman’s first taste of the new car resulted in a best time of 1:22.200 and also a thumbs up for the increased pace of the new cars.
Commenting, Max said: “We had a very positive day with not too many issues and we’ve done quite a lot of laps so we can be happy. For us it’s not about showing how quick we can be at the moment. It’s the first test week and the second day, so it’s much more important to get some mileage in and to check if all the parts are okay. We’ll focus on lap time later on. The speed difference compared to the cars from last year is a good step; it’s definitely more enjoyable through the faster corners. You also have a lot more traction going through the slow corners and that was very difficult to find a good compromise with last year. But with such wide tyres and such big cars that’s a lot better now. Of course it’s more demanding but that’s what we trained for in the winter so you have to be up for it.”
Head of Race Engineering Guillaume Rocquelin added: “After clearing the niggles we had yesterday, today went very much according to plan. We were a little tentative in the morning as it was pretty chilly and a few people were sliding around a bit. Because of that we focused on short runs and aero mapping. We then had a pretty long stop over lunch to make some changes to the car in preparation for what we wanted to achieve this afternoon. We knew it would mean taking a hit in terms of track time but we were willing to do that in order to get the information we wanted. And we did that. It’s an interesting process this year. Obviously the new cars behave quite differently to the last generation and therefore you can only draw so much on historical reference. As such these first couple of days are really about establishing a platform of understanding and once you have that you can really start to build from there. It’s also been very interesting to work with the new tyres. The deg is good; they’re consistent, they’re a good step I think.”