FP1 & FP2 - Spanish GP 2020 - Team quotes
Renault DP World F1 Team ran a productive practice programme today at a scorching hot Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, in build-up to this weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix.
Daniel Ricciardo was the fourth quickest driver of the day in Free Practice 2 with team-mate Esteban Ocon ninth in the same session.
Under the red-hot Spanish sun, both drivers were fresh out the blocks in the morning session running a series of aero tests on the Renault R.S.20.
Both drivers reported quite low grip during Free Practice 1 with attention for the afternoon geared towards learning more on high fuel and answering questions on predicted race strategy.
Daniel’s Soft tyre run midway through the session was good enough for fourth place with Esteban – also on Softs – half a second adrift, but still comfortably inside the top ten.
“It’s been a pretty good day for us, especially the afternoon’s running. On the timesheets, at least, it’s another decent Friday: third last week, fourth today, so we’ll try and keep that going. Our long run was looking quite competitive as well. I wasn’t too happy with the car in the morning, but we made a good step in the afternoon, similar to Silverstone last week. The tricky thing here is the heat. We haven’t driven here in the heat for so long and it’s completely different to what we felt at winter testing. We’re trying to understand that, but we got a better grasp on it this afternoon with the tyres in a better place. We have more work to do before tomorrow, but we’ll aim to put in a good one.”
“It’s not been an easy day, but nevertheless, we’ll work hard tonight and find some solutions. Conditions are very warm here and that doesn’t make things easy. On our side, we have a bit of work to do at the moment, especially on car behaviour and finding some consistency. It was a little challenging to drive – especially with rear stability - and we’re not on top of the issue from Silverstone yet. The good thing is that the car has great pace and we just need to unlock it. Physically, a tough day too in the heat but I’m feeling fine and ready for tomorrow.”
Ciaron Pilbeam, Chief Race Engineer
“We’ve had a smooth day’s running with both cars getting through their programmes without any hiccups. We’ve looked at all three tyre compounds this afternoon between the cars with the usual analysis to follow. Daniel’s Soft tyre run certainly looked quite competitive. Esteban, meanwhile, has been less happy in the car all day, so we’ve got some digging to do tonight to find the cause of that. It seems to be the same issue throughout the day more or less. That aside, it’s been good day’s running and the conditions look to stay the same for the rest of the weekend. We have more to build on from today.”
“The car was performing quite well and overall it was a positive day. Over one lap we are clearly still lacking to Mercedes but on the long runs the car felt nice to drive which is of course what is important for the race. We are using the hardest tyre compounds here which is different to last weekend. I would maybe have liked the softer tyres (laughs) but that is not for us to choose, the tyres are manageable and it is pretty hot out there! I expect in Qualifying that Mercedes will still have the edge as they are very fast but who knows in the race. I felt quite good today so let’s see if I feel the same on Sunday when it matters.”
“I felt pretty comfortable with the car in FP1 and I think we found a good direction in that session. We tried a few things in FP2 that didn’t quite go the way we wanted them to but that’s what Friday’s are for, seeing what works and what doesn’t. We’ll have a look at the data this evening to see how we can maximise our performance tomorrow. The tyre degradation today felt okay compared to last weekend at Silverstone, saying that, it’s tricky out there with track temperatures at around 48 degrees so there will be a lot of tyre management on race day, that’s for sure!”
“It was a positive Friday for us, we managed to do quite a few laps and completed an extensive test session. In FP2 we managed to finish in the top 10, even if I still feel like I’m not fully happy with the car. We weren’t able to get the balance exactly where I wanted it to be unlike in recent weekends, so I think we’ll have a bit of work to do for tomorrow in order to improve the balance, find a bit more performance and be in a good position for Qualifying.”
“We had a productive Friday, we managed to do quite a few laps despite having a problem in the morning. It was not ideal to miss the first part of FP1, but we managed to recover some of the lost time in FP2, so I’m looking forward to putting together a clean day tomorrow and have a strong result in Qualifying. We’ve got some work to do tonight to understand where the car is at and where we can find the last couple of tenths to put us in a position to fight for the top 10.”
Jonathan Eddolls (Chief Race Engineer)
“We had two weeks of testing here when the car was brand new back in February, and it’s good to be back. This year we are in Barcelona later than when we typically come for the race, so we need to take a lot of our historical data for this track with a pinch of salt because the track temperatures and the weather are extremely different to what we had in March, and what we normally experience when we come here in May. Today we had 50-degree track temperatures which have a big impact on the car. Unfortunately, in FP1 we had a minor hydraulic issue on Dany’s car that we were able to fix and get him back out, but it meant he missed some track time which put him on the back foot. It was a very hot track so both drivers were struggling for overall grip and to find a good balance on the car, so we analysed the data between FP1 and FP2 and made some small changes to the car based on what we saw in the morning. I think we showed a step in performance and we were able to improve our competitiveness. Pierre got a good lap on his Option tyre, while there’s still a bit more to come for Dany as so far, he’s had less track time this weekend. The short-run is looking reasonable and in line with expectations, and we’re happy with our pace on the long runs too, so we’re positive for the rest of the weekend. It looks like the midfield is extremely tight again, a tenth of a second can make the difference between four places in Qualifying, so we need to look through all the data tonight to decide what to do as for the tyre allocation for the race on Sunday and get everything together for a good Qualifying.”
Barcelona: we’ve all been here so many times, we’ve all stomped around this circuit until no corner has any secrets left. And yet, despite the countless laps we’ve notched here throughout the years, today’s sessions were just as important as any other race weekend’s Friday.
It’s a lot hotter in August than in May, let alone in February, in this part of the world. The reams of data we have on this little corner of Catalonia matter for little in today’s conditions. That’s why every lap counts, and that’s why we went out to complete our programme to its full extent.
This Spanish Grand Prix, in this crazy 2020, is nothing like the past.
“It was a fairly regular Friday: we tried various things, trying to find the best way to set up the car for tomorrow. The car feels very similar to the last few races, you can’t expect big changes in such a short time, and that’s not yet where we want it to be. The key at this stage is to understand how to extract the best from the package we have at the moment.”
“Not the easiest day to start our Spanish Grand Prix weekend: we struggled a little in these conditions and there is a lot we can improve in terms of pace. We know there’s a lot of work ahead of us, we need to make some solid work tonight and try our best in the limited amount of time we will have in FP3 tomorrow.”
The sixth round of the 2020 FIA Formula One World Championship began with practice Friday at Circuit de Barcelona – Catalunya as teams prepared for Sunday’s Spanish Grand Prix.
Two 90-minute sessions – FP1 and FP2 – were run in mostly sunny conditions on the 4.655-kilometer (2.892-mile), 16-turn circuit with air temperature hitting 30 degrees Celsius (86 degrees Fahrenheit) and track temperature peaking at 49 degrees Celsius (120.2 degrees Fahrenheit).
Grosjean kicked off his FP1 program on the Pirelli P Zero Yellow medium tire while Magnussen utilized the White hard compound to start. Both drivers transitioned onto the Red soft rubber for their fastest laps of the opening session. Grosjean banked a 1:18.291 to place sixth at the checkered. Magnussen joined his teammate in the top 10 courtesy of a 1:18.620 lap – good for ninth overall.
Grosjean commenced FP2 with a nine-lap sampling of the hard rubber – with Magnussen opting for mediums for a seven-lap stint. They both bolted on fresh sets of soft tires for their qualifying simulations. Grosjean improved upon his morning lap time clocking a 1:18.133 – earning the Frenchman fifth spot on the timesheet. A 1:18.761 proved to be Magnussen’s quickest time of the session placing the Dane 16th at the checkered. The run plan concluded with high-fuel, long-distance runs.
Haas F1 Team ran a total of 122 laps on Friday across the two practice sessions – 64 by Magnussen and 58 by Grosjean.
“I don’t really know where this performance came from. In all fairness, it’s the same car from the beginning of the year, we’ve just been making some good set-up work since Silverstone. The performance there was really good, but it was power sensitive, here that’s maybe a little less. Sixth in FP1, fifth in FP2, then the long-run pace was pretty good too – we’re really happy with all that. There’s a little bit more work to be done on the car to bring it more to my liking. I hope nothing changes though, I hope this all stays the same so tomorrow we can go for a really good qualifying session – that would definitely set up a good weekend.”
“It’s been a positive day. I didn’t get a great run on low fuel in FP2, so my best lap time doesn’t look good, but Romain (Grosjean) showed what’s in the car. Running on high fuel, it was all very positive. The car seems to be working very well around here. It’s been very hot, there’s a lot of heat in the tires, but it seems to be working. I think this track obviously suits us a little better. I’m pretty positive and very happy with today. It’ll be harder tomorrow, but hopefully we can get a little further up in qualifying than we have done so far this year, from there we can have a good race.”
“For sure, these have been our best Friday sessions this year. This kind of circuit, where there’s less high-speed sectors, it helps us as it’s a lot less power sensitive. We’ve always been relatively good here in Barcelona, I don’t know the reason why. I was cautiously optimistic in testing at the beginning of the year, and this shows that I wasn’t wrong. So, it looks encouraging but I’m not getting over-enthusiastic about it yet because we still have to qualify on Saturday and race on Sunday. There are still a lot of things we need to get right – which we could get wrong, so I don’t want to be negative. But overall, I think this is a big boost for the team. It’s great that we’ve been this competitive today, it’s an uplift for everybody. Now we have to put in the hard work so we don’t make any mistakes over the next two days. Hopefully we’ll bring home a good result.”
Dave Robson, Head of Vehicle Performance
Roy Nissany drove the car during FP1 and did a very good job, showing good pace and completing his part of the test programme without issue. Between the two cars we got through quite a lot of chassis work during FP1, but the main observations were around the tyres, which clearly weren’t easy to use in the hot conditions.
George was back in the car for FP2 and during the session we began our work on qualifying and race preparation, but we struggled for basic pace at both fuel levels. We need to make some sizeable changes to the car overnight to get us closer to the pack, but we have a good idea of what we need to do and we’re sure that we can get it together overnight and put in a stronger performance tomorrow.
It was definitely very hot out there and the conditions were much more humid compared to Silverstone. It was a tricky day trying to get the right settings for one lap performance versus high fuel running. Especially after the previous rounds where we seemed a bit more competitive compared to our direct competitors, it seemed we were struggling a bit more today. We have lot of homework to do tonight to try and get back on the pace of the Haas and Alfa tomorrow.
It was very tough; I think the track temperatures being so high meant that the tyres were really struggling for everyone in these difficult conditions. It wasn’t awfully pleasant, and I think we have a bit of work to do to get on top of it for tomorrow. I was a bit off the ball to start the short run having missed FP1, and then going straight in on the hard tyre didn’t help. We are not used to seeing Barcelona with these track conditions, we pre-empted that, but I think we need to go a step further. I think we can get some more pace out of the car for tomorrow, but I think Q2 which has been our focus and our aim in the last few races will be pretty tough this weekend.
It was a very positive session and I am pleased with my performance. Working with the team was perfect, we were quite close with the pace and I think it was a very encouraging experience for my first outing. I have learnt a lot and I think I gave good feedback to the team in terms of the development of the car. I come away with very positive feelings and I am already looking forward to the next one.
The Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team set the pace on productive Friday at the Circuit de-Barcelona Catalunya
— Valtteri set the pace in first practice, with Lewis just 0.039s behind in P2
— Lewis finished the second session in P1, with Valtteri in P2
— The team focused on long and short run tyre performance during the two practice sessions
It’s definitely been quite tough out there today. I don’t think I’ve ever been to Spain when it’s been this hot. The weather is beautiful, but it’s tricky for the car and very tough on the tyres as well. It’s also been quite windy and that can make it difficult out there, but it’s a good challenge. It’s been a positive day, particularly the second session which went better for me. We didn’t see any blistering, the tyres felt OK and the long runs didn’t look too bad, but we also didn’t see any blistering last Friday, so we’ll have to remain careful. We’ll debrief this evening and see where we stand and what we can do to improve. The Red Bulls look very close to us on the long runs, so we can expect another close race here.
It’s been a good day for us, and we’ve gained plenty of learnings. It’s a nice feeling to be back on track here and feeling the improvements of the car since we were last here, back in pre-season testing. The car felt good out there, but obviously there’s some fine-tuning to do. The morning session was a bit better for me today than the afternoon. I struggled with some understeer at the beginning of FP1, but that was quite easy to fix, and it felt a lot better by the end of the session. We did long runs on all of the tyre compounds today and I didn’t experience any blistering, so there will be lots of learnings for us to look into in order to really maximise tyre performance here. We’re looking strong but the main thing will be Sunday with these temperatures and whether we can keep these tyres in a good condition.
It’s been pretty hot here today with the air temperature around 30°C and the track around 50°C. Our programme was fairly standard, mainly trying to learn about the tyres in the hot conditions. Our single-lap pace looks promising, we seem to be getting the Soft tyre to work fairly well in particular. The long-run is more of a challenge and the area we need to work on tonight. The story looks similar to recent races; we’re reasonable compared to all cars except Verstappen – with him it looks very close. The strategy options are fairly open here both with the number of stops and start tyre - as such it’s important that we can find a bit more pace before Sunday.
“It was great to be back in the car today: I’d missed Formula 1 so much! I’m very pleased to be behind the wheel and working with my team again. I thought it would take me some time to get back up to speed after missing two race weekends, but I’m pleased that I was able to get back into the rhythm very quickly. It was a physical day out there in the high temperatures, but the main thing is that we showed promising pace, so I’m looking forward to qualifying tomorrow. We completed today’s programme, and I’m happy with what we achieved, so we can aim for a good result in qualifying and points on Sunday.”
“It was pretty toasty out there! I’m looking forward to a cold shower now! It wasn’t the easiest Friday, but we know there are areas where we can make improvements overnight and for Sunday, so I’m confident we can take a good step forward. We’ve seen in today’s running that a strong race result will require good tyre management as the track temperature is so high this weekend. Now that we’ve experienced these types of conditions, we can go away and make sure we set the car up as well as possible for tomorrow and Sunday. It was great to see Checo back in the car too. I’m confident that we’ll be fighting for points on Sunday.”
“A normal Friday for us, where we tried a couple of test items and mainly tried to understand the overheating issue we had in my car over the last weekend. Unfortunately, the problem is still there and costing lap-time, so we’ll keep investigating in order to take the best decision.
“Apart from that, performance-wise, the car wasn’t too bad today. There are still a few changes to make for tomorrow, but the main focus point now is still the cooling.”
“A tricky day in terms of getting to know the car a bit around here, but not too bad to be honest. We’re trying a few of the things we struggled with in Silverstone, but we also made a fresh start as it’s a new track.
“I think we’re fairly comfortable, we’ve got a good direction to work in but we’re not there yet – I’m basically looking for more grip overall. The car doesn’t feel bad, so I think we can make some improvements overnight and be a bit more competitive. On the whole, today was clean, we got our running in, got a good understanding of the car – that’s what’s most important.”
Andrea Stella - Racing Director
“We’ve had a productive Friday and have been able to work through all our planned test items and improve our understanding of the balance of the car, the level of grip and the tyres. The temperature in August is, of course, hotter than we’re used to in Barcelona for the race, and that creates some particular challenges for cooling and tyre temperature. We still see the split of temperatures across cars and we’ll make further changes tomorrow in order to resolve this anomaly.
“On the tyre side, it looks like the behaviour is more typical than we saw in Silverstone, where we suffered with some issues. We know that when the track is windy, our car becomes a bit temperamental, but we’ll try to extract the most out of it tomorrow and be fighting for Q3 to give us the best chance of good points on Sunday.”
Unconcerned by the mid-August heat during Friday’s free practice for the Spanish Grand Prix, the sixth round of the season, Charles Leclerc and Sebastian Vettel, who had a chassis change, completed 125 laps of the Barcelona-Catalunya circuit, covering the equivalent of almost a race distance each. The planned programme for both SF1000s was completed, which means that, as usual, the team has plenty of data to prepare for the race and for tomorrow’s qualifying.
Morning. In the morning, both drivers began work with a few laps on the Hard tyre before switching to the softest compound Pirelli has brought to Catalunya and it was on this tyre that they both set their best laps: for Charles a 1’17”970 and for Sebastian a 1’17”981. In the final minutes of the session, as usual the two SF1000s ran with a higher fuel load and also did some practice starts. Both drivers did 27 laps each.
Afternoon. Track temperature for the second free practice session almost hit the 50 degree mark and so, despite it being more rubbered-in, neither of the drivers managed to improve on their previous best time. Charles and Sebastian concentrated mainly on fine tuning the car for the race, covering 71 laps in total: 35 for the former and 36 for the latter.
Medium and then Soft. Both drivers began on the Medium tyres that they had not tried in the morning. Their best times were 1’19”050 for Leclerc and 1’19”322 for Vettel. Then in the middle of the session they switched to the Softs for qualifying simulation runs, Leclerc posting a 1’18”147 and Vettel was fractionally slower in 1’18”404. Shortly after the mid-point of the session they switched to evaluating the car’s handling on different fuel loads, splitting the programme to get as much data as possible. Charles started on Softs before switching to Mediums, while Sebastian did the opposite.
Programme. The final 60 minutes of free practice starts at 12 CET tomorrow, in preparation for qualifying at 15. The Spanish Grand Prix starts on Sunday 16 August at 15.10. The next two days are also expected to be very hot.
“It has been quite a good day, once again better than expected, which is positive. Our quali pace was good, even though there’s still some work to do here and there to improve, so I am confident we can extract the maximum out of the car in quali and if I manage to get the balance where I want it to be we can have a pretty good result.
Also, the race simulation we did went fairly well. We have a lot of data on this track from winter testing, but it’s very difficult to compare it with the data we gathered today in such different conditions. With regards to the heat, out on track is not that hard because at least there’s some air, but when you are in the garage it’s like being in a sauna!”
“It was a mixed day: I was reasonably happy in terms of our one lap pace, even if in the afternoon I struggled a bit more to put the laps together. However generally I have a better feeling with the car. Today we tried a few things and we have learned some things we can use tomorrow. Let’s see where we are after quali.
In terms of race pace we should be quite okay, but obviously there is still some work to do. In particular, managing the tyres will be key and with the high temperatures expected to continue, this will be far from easy.”