May 13, 2014
On Sunday, the Barcelona paddock was packed with fans, VIP guests TV crews and all manner of people attending the fifth round of the World Championship, the Spanish Grand Prix. Move on a couple of days and the Catalunya track is a much quieter place and there are no hordes of fans on the balcony above the pits chanting "Alooonso, Alooonso....." all day long. Instead, it's just a purely working environment as the eleven teams, with one car each, tackle the fifth test of the year, the second in-season one, which runs for two days. Even our team hospitality is back to basics as the famous Energy Station is being dismantled, to be trucked up the coastal motorway to Monte Carlo, where it will be built up for next week's Monaco GP.
Unfortunately, the good weather we enjoyed throughout the Spanish GP weekend has made way for some overcast skies and today's track time was affected by rain. In order to try and make up for lost time, everyone had agreed to bring forward the lunchbreak to midday, in the hope of getting a longer dryer afternoon to work on the cars. In the Toro Rosso camp, Jean-Eric Vergne was on driving duty, but in accordance with the rules, today, Scuderia Toro Rosso's testing role is to "serve" Pirelli, running a programme outlined by the sports' sole tyre supplier, as it works on tyres for next year. Today Jev completed 52 laps, with a best time of 1:27.724.
Jev warmed up for his stint behind the wheel with a Batak session – a wall of lights, which you have to hit as they come on, to test your reaction time – and he even beat his own record. As for Daniil Kvyat, he will be driving tomorrow, although he was at the track today for the usual pre-test meetings with his engineers and in the afternoon he played table tennis with the Catalan champion Oriol Monzo', nr 6 in Spain, all for the benefit of Spanish TV crews.