• First Barcelona Test, Day 1

Who said what after the first day of testing at Barcelona

ESPNF1 Staff
February 21, 2012

Read what the drivers and teams had to say after the first day of testing at Barcelona

It was a busy day of action with 11 of the 12 teams present at Barcelona © Sutton Images
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Heikki Kovalainen - 9th, 1:26.035 "That obviously wasn't how we wanted day one here to go, but that's what testing is for - pushing everything to the limit to make sure we get rid of the problems before we get to the first race. It's hard to learn a lot from limited laps, but I'm back in the car on Friday and I'm sure we'll be able to push on with the program between now and then and make sure we get as much as we can out of the next three days on track."

Mike Gascoyne, chief technical officer "We had a rear track rod failure on Heikki's third run this morning which brought him to a halt on track. As soon as we had the car back in the garage we identified the issue and managed to fix it on site, and we have more parts coming out tonight to make sure we don't have the same problem again. We know that this car is fundamentally reliable, so the aim for the next three days is to complete the plan for this test and put ourselves back on schedule."

Force India

Nico Hulkenberg - 2nd, 1:23.440 "Once gain it's good to do so many laps and I'm pleased with how things went today. It was only my second day in the car and I'm still bedding in and getting used to things, but after each run I felt a bit more comfortable. We started with some aero runs and more data gathering this morning, and then moved to longer runs in the afternoon. The car feels consistent and the drivability is good so I feel positive heading into tomorrow."

Jakob Andreason, chief engineer "Another busy day with a lot of mileage for Nico as he continues to build up his feel for the VJM05. We began the programme with aero sweeps and also evaluated some mechanical components to address some improvements we felt could be made to the car following the Jerez test. The car has performed well throughout the day with good reliability, which allowed us to focus on adding performance. We completed the majority of the programme and got through our long runs in the afternoon, which helped build up Nico's knowledge of the hard and medium compound tyres."


Romain Grosjean - 10th, 1:26.809 "We completed a few aero runs and then started timed runs, but I was very quickly aware that the car wasn't responding as it should. It's not ideal to lose track time, but fortunately we will have the chassis which ran perfectly in Jerez so I should get some good track time tomorrow. It's far better that we have an issue like this now rather than in Melbourne."

Alan Permane, trackside operations director "This morning was our first shakedown of our second chassis. Once the car was on track it was soon evident that everything wasn't quite as it should be. As a precaution we are returning the chassis to Enstone for further investigation. Chassis E20-01, which we used in Jerez, is being sent over and we expect to be on track with that chassis tomorrow."

Eric Boullier, team principal "This is a minor setback to our overall test programme. Fortunately we accumulated good mileage in Jerez. If this is the only issue we have during testing then we will still be well prepared for the start of the season. We'll be back on track tomorrow with chassis E20-01 and assessing chassis E20-02 back at Enstone."


Charles Pic - 11th, 1:28.026 "It has been a very good first day for me and a positive way to begin the new season. The car has worked very well all day so we were able to push through with the programme. We made a lot of pit stops this morning and practiced all the procedures, which was very helpful for me, and this afternoon we completed a race simulation. I learned a lot from the day and I'm looking forward to running again tomorrow."

John Booth, team principal "It's great to be back in action after almost three months away from the race track. Although it is disappointing that we are not here with our 2012 car, the opportunity to use the MVR-02 with its impressive reliability to complete a whole series of pit stop scenarios with the race team and Charles is invaluable. For the past two months the team have been practising every day in the factory and this hard work came to fruition today. There seems to be a genuine improvement in the standard of the stops and Charles' practice today will stand him in good stead for the opening race in Melbourne. We finished the afternoon off with a full race simulation for Charles stepping through the three options of tyres suited to this circuit and also completing live pit stops. Overall a positive way to start our 2012 season testing and we look forward to a continuation of Charles' development over the next few days and to seeing Timo in the car briefly on Thursday."


Lewis Hamilton - 3rd, 1:23.590

Dave Redding, team manager "With more than 500km under our belt, this was an extremely productive day. The car ran reliably and without problem all day and Lewis was happy with the car. Given the cooler temperatures we experienced today, we're optimistic that we're headed in the right direction with our tyre and set-up work for the start of the season."


Michael Schumacher - 6th, 1:24.150 "My initial feelings with our new car are certainly good. I'm happy with the different evaluations that we have done over the last week, but obviously with the rule changes, we won't know more until later. It's certainly an improvement and we have worked hard on the areas we had defined last year. The aerodynamics figures look good so I'm not worried about the shape of the nose! Even though we had the hydraulic problem today, I'm pleased with all the mileage we have achieved so far with the new car."

Red Bull

Sebastian Vettel - 1st, 1:23.265 "It's clear that the cars have less grip than last year, but we try to come back from that slowly. It's difficult to judge where we are compared with the others right now. It's all based on feeling and the feeling I have inside the car at the moment is fine. I think we had a good day today, with no trouble. We had a long lunch break when we made some changes, but not because anything broke down. All in all, it was a good day."

Ian Morgan, head of race engineering "We got through most of what we wanted today. We had a longer than usual break for lunch, in order to change some things, but that had always been planned. So, while we lost a little time, it wasn't at the expense of getting the tasks completed.

"These tests are a process of continuous development and the programme today was influenced a bit by what we learned at the last test. We also had to test some items that were put into development before the car even took to the track. The next two days will be somewhat different. We will be doing race simulations and will have the whole race team here, so we will try to mix that with continuing the development. There aren't many chances to run through a whole race weekend before the season starts and we'll do a simulation with each driver. Those should keep us on our toes for the next couple of days."


Sergio Perez - 7th, 1:24.219 "It wasn't an easy day for us. Nevertheless during the 66 laps we collected some very useful data, which we will analyse tonight, so in this regard it was still a satisfying day. I am very much looking forward to tomorrow and I hope we can get a lot more work done then."

Giampaolo Dall'Ara, head of track engineering "We obviously didn't cover the mileage we wanted to today, but such things happen in testing. In the morning we had some doubts related to the structure, which didn't occur in Jerez and therefore appear to be track related. It is important to discover something like this during testing instead of at a Grand Prix weekend. We touched base with our experts in Hinwil for analyses and at the same time found a mechanical solution here at the track. In the afternoon we then had another unforeseen break due to a mechanical issue with a rear anti roll bar. Not actually a big issue, but quite time consuming as the gear box had to be removed again, etc. So now we will concentrate on our test programme for tomorrow and hope for a rather smoother session then."

Toro Rosso

Daniel Ricciardo - 4th, 1:23.618 "It was a good day with 76 laps under my belt. In the morning, apart from working on the overall development of the car, we were also getting ready for Melbourne, running through various procedures, working to a set time scale, as if it was a race weekend. That went well and in the afternoon, we did some race-type runs which were successful until the car stopped with just the final hour to go."


Bruno Senna - 8th, 1:25.711 "It has been a very interesting day working with different set-ups to assess the reliability of the FW34. We need to keep working hard to understand the car even better. The team will continue working over the next few days with Valtteri and Pastor, as we look to improve both pace and consistency."

Mark Gillan, chief operations engineer "Bruno was on track today as we began the penultimate test before heading off to the first race of the season. We completed 97 laps around Barcelona's Circuit de Catalunya, working successfully through a detailed aero correlation test programme in the morning before moving on to car set-up optimisation, utilising a range of tyre compounds throughout the afternoon. We continue tomorrow with Valtteri in the FW34 before Pastor takes over for the final two days."