Barcelona is a milestone in this year’s calendar in terms of understanding the relative performance of different teams and we are pretty happy with how this first day went. It was unfortunate that we suffered a problem with the ERS cooling system this morning which cost Nico track time but he recovered well in the afternoon. Lewis had a smoother day and put in a strong performance throughout with a good long run on the option tyre this afternoon - unfortunately, Nico encountered traffic when he was doing the same programme, which made it harder to analyse his pace. Overall, we seem to have a good set-up basis which is important because we know how demanding this race can be for the tyres. Our updates seem to be working well so far and we will keep pushing hard tonight to see where there is more performance to be found for qualifying and the race.
During Nico’s first run this morning, we uncovered a problem with his Hybrid system which unfortunately cost him the rest of the session as we resolved it. However Lewis had a good, fault-free session and was able to complete his programme, which gave us a baseline indication of both the car balance and the pace. Both cars ran through the afternoon session without issues. Our lower fuel runs at the start of the session allowed us to focus on the preparation of the tyres for qualifying runs, and we were then able to evaluate the endurance of the option tyre in the longer runs. That work has given us some very good information for Sunday afternoon. Tonight’s task is now to analyse the data we have collected today to optimise the car’s performance for both qualifying and the race. Overall, it has been an encouraging start to the weekend.