Sahara Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg clocked his first miles of 2015 in the final day of testing in Barcelona, completing 36 laps on a windy and chilly day at the Circuit de Catalunya.
Nico Hulkenberg #27
Laps: 36 laps
Mileage: 168 km
Fastest lap: 1:26.591
Classification: P8 of 9
Nico Hulkenberg: “It was a very nice sensation to be back in a Formula One car and getting the feeling of being in the cockpit again. It was exciting and I really enjoyed my time driving the car and working with the engineers after the winter break. Unfortunately our day was shortened by an issue with the power unit, something we will look into once the car is back at the factory. This, together with the very windy and cold conditions, made our work harder but every lap is valuable in pre-season. I am really looking forward to the final test next week and to try the new car. I am especially looking forward to Melbourne and starting racing again.”
Tom McCullough, Chief Race Engineer: “It was not the most straightforward of days, with a few technical issues costing us track time. A windy morning made it difficult to evaluate some of the items we were testing, but it still made for a useful first experience with the new Pirelli tyres for Nico, and we will be able to extract some data from those laps. Although we finish this test with a fairly frustrating day for Nico, over these four days we gathered a lot of useful information and we will put that into good practice for the start of the season.”
Romain Grosjean returned to the wheel of the Lotus F1 E23 hybrid to top the times for the fourth day of testing at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. Romain completed 111 laps over the course of a programme of set-up evaluations and performance simulations. The day was characterised by clear skies and sunshine, however conditions were windy. Romain’s best lap time of 1min 24.067secs was the fastest of the test.
Track: Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, Spain, 4.7km
Weather: Sun, crisp and windy. Ambient 10°C – 19°C Track 11°C – 29°C
Programme: Tyre and aero assessments, performance simulations
Laps Completed: 111
Classification: P1, 1:24.067
Interruptions: Aero evaluation equipment fitting and removal.
Lotus F1 will resume test action at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya for the next four-day test commencing Thursday 26 February with Romain driving on the first and third day and Pastor in action on days two and four.
Romain Grosjean: “It was great to get behind the wheel of the E23 once more. Conditions were pretty tricky with quite a bit of wind, especially early on, but the car ran well, meaning we could complete the tests we wanted to – even if I had to modify my lines in the morning because the wind was pushing the car! We made some good improvements with the balance and set-up over the course of the day and it felt a lot better after we made changes for the afternoon. We completed a very promising mileage and it’s always good to see your name at the top of the timing monitors, even if it is far too early to know what everyone else is doing.”
Nick Chester, Technical Director: “We’ve enjoyed a solid first test in Barcelona with good reliability and encouraging performance. The biggest positive we have seen so far is the reliability of the E23 which is enabling us to push along with our assessments and evaluations over the course of 361 laps or 1680km. It was good to have Romain in the car so we could add his feedback to that we’ve already received here from Pastor and Jolyon. Today was particularly windy, making it harder to work on car balance assessments, but we conducted a productive race simulation in the afternoon as well as other performance evaluations. During this test, we’ve completed plenty of laps so we have plenty to be working on over the next three days before we’re back in action here.”
Driver: Valtteri Bottas
Chassis/Engine: FW37-02/PU106B hybrid
Location: Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, 4.655km
Objectives: Set-up and Race sim
Weather: Warm and Dry
Air and track temps: 11 – 19 ºC / 12 – 28ºC
Rod Nelson, Chief Test and Support Engineer: “We had a very busy plan today. The morning was tough due to the wind conditions which affected our chassis testing. In the afternoon we had a race-sim planned, but this was interrupted by three red flags, then once again in the final run of the day there was another red flag. All of these stoppages stilted our progression slightly and meant we couldn’t quite complete our plan. Throughout the whole test though we have gathered a lot of data and are prepared for the final test next week.
Valtteri Bottas: “We completed quite a few laps today which was positive even though our programme was disrupted a few times. The FW37 remains reliable but we have quite a way to go before we are at the level we want to be, although we are on schedule. Both tests have been relatively issue free and so we have begun preparations for Australia and look forward to the final test next week.”