Sunday 1 March 2015
Driver: Daniel Ricciardo
Best time: 1:24.638
Circuit length: 4.655km
Fastest Lap: V. Bottas (1:23.063)
Infiniti Red Bull Racing’s 2015 winter testing programme came to an end today with Daniel Ricciardo completing 72 laps of the Circuit de Catalunya. The final day in Barcelona began positively, but just over an hour into the session, Daniel stopped at the end of the pit lane. After investigation, an ERS issue was diagnosed and the team spent the morning rectifying the problem. Daniel returned to the track in the afternoon and completed both long and short runs after which he claimed the day’s fifth fastest time. With a successful test programme now complete, the team’s attention turns to the first race of the 2015 season, in Melbourne in two weeks’ time.
“We had an ERS problem in the morning but in the end we more or less did what we needed to do today,” said Daniel. “We did a bit on lower fuel and soft tyres plus some longer runs. In terms of the pecking order, which is obviously what everyone wants to talk about, it’s hard to say where anyone is at. Aside from one team, I’d say it’s pretty close after that, but we’ll see in Melbourne. I think there’s more to come from us. Personally, I feel really ready to race now and I think we’ll be good come Melbourne.”
Head of Race Engineering Guillaume Rocquelin added: “It was a bit of compressed programme today because of the electrical problem we had this morning. It’s a problem we’ve had before and one we are on top of, but it just takes time to fix, so that ruled us out for the rest of the morning. We crunched things down a bit in the afternoon and got in some short runs and long runs, so it was a useful day. In terms of the winter programme overall, I’d have to mark it down as a success, if only for the reason that we did about three times the mileage as this time last year! Overall, it’s been very good. We spent the time focusing on what we need to do and not chasing lap time, because at the end of the day what you want to achieve is the development of a set of tools you can use through the season and that will help take you forward. We’ve done that. The balance of the car is good, the consistency is there, we’ve built in good reliability and the drivers are happy and I’m pleased with how things have gone. There’s more to come in the next while but I think we’re in decent shape for the first race.”