A systems issue brought an early end to the final day of preseason testing at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, with Pastor Maldonado’s compromised braking causing the E23 Hybrid to make contact with the wall.
The turn four collision ended the team’s programme early in the afternoon. However the reliability and continued running of the car in the previous tests at Barcelona and Jerez meant the team could opt to end the day, instead of rushing timely repairs.
“My braking was compromised coming into turn four, meaning I went off the track and hit the barriers,” said Pastor. “I was able to brake and slow, just not as much as the maximum otherwise possible. The car was not too badly damaged and I am fine.”
The consequence of the contact left the team with rectification work for the damage sustained to the front wing and front suspension
The morning’s programme saw Pastor complete aero assessments, including back to back aero component evaluations, during his 38 lap toll.
The Venezuelan’s best time of the day was a 1min 28.272secs with the curtailed running preventing a run on the softer compound tyres.
“It was a shame to end the day early, but that was the only issue we’ve had like this during testing so we can look to the positive that we have a lot of information to take the car in the right direction,” he said. “It’s a shame we had this issue as we would have been looking at running the softer tyres in the afternoon and putting in some fast laps. I’m looking forward to getting back in the car in Melbourne as I think we have good potential this season.”
Technical Director Nick Chester praised a comprehensive two weeks of testing ahead of the first race of the season.
“Certainly ending the final pre-season test in the barriers was not part of our game plan, but overall we’ve had a productive two weeks here in Barcelona following on from our initial outing in Jerez,” he said. “We now have a quick turn-around to get the car back to Enstone, then shipped out to Australia at the end of the week.”
“It was a pity we weren’t able to run any low fuel laps later in the day. We are looking forward to Melbourne where we will get a full picture of the relative pace of the E23.”
With testing now complete, the familiar whirlwind pace of Formula 1 begins as the first Grand Prix of the season edges closer.