Barca Day Three: Driver reaction
The drivers have their say on the third day of the second test
By William Esler. Last Updated: 21/02/13 6:12pm
The drivers have their say after the third day of running at the second winter test at the Circuit de Catalunya near Barcelona.
Mark Webber: "We had a pretty good run today, we're learning plenty, so a positive outing for us. Overall the car ran smoothly and once again we amassed a huge amount of data for the guys back at the factory to go through. We'd like to get a bit more mileage tomorrow in the dry, but that doesn't look like it's going to happen, it looks like it will be wet.
"As usual at tests, the question of the pecking order comes up all the time but, honestly, I have no idea. There are a few quick cars out there, but in winter testing it's so hard to say if anyone's better than anyone else, especially with the tyres going off the way they are - you're losing four or five seconds over the course of a stint, so figuring out who's doing what is pretty difficult. All we can do is keep pushing, keep developing and keep our eyes fixed on the first race."
Jenson Button: "It's going to be wet tomorrow so it is going to be tricky, and for me, I don't feel that I have had enough laps in the car and I think it is the same for Checo as well.
"We are doing a lot of work to understand the car, in terms of the aerodynamics - you are doing a lot of brake work in the morning and you lose a lot of time doing that - but it is important for us if it helps us throughout the year to understand the car and the direction.
"But it does limit the testing and I am really looking forward to a good test next week in Barcelona as I don't feel that we have been able to do enough to really understand the car and where we are with the car."
Romain Grosjean: "I think I'm ready for a sleep after so many laps in the car! It's good to see reliability today to add to the pace we've already seen in the car. We're still at an early stage of development so it's really promising to see where we are.
"It was difficult out on track as temperatures were so low, but we've gained a lot of useful data. The 2013 tyres certainly feel different from last year's but already we're starting to understand them. I hope it's dry tomorrow so we can get some more laps under our belt."
Nico Rosberg: "We didn't have a perfect morning and it was tough out there with the low temperatures. They were causing a lot of tyre graining, which made it difficult to do much useful testing. It was a few degrees warmer after the break and that gave a completely different picture.
"In general, I'm pleased with what we've achieved this week - I did a lot of mileage and the team has done a good job over the winter. I feel more comfortable in the car and the balance is quite good, but we still need to work in a number of areas. That's why I'm looking forward to testing next week and to see what progress we can make."
Nico Hulkenberg: "It was a positive day. We got a lot of testing done with just minor problems. I ran the soft tyres in the morning here in Barcelona for the first time to get a feeling for those, which was interesting. The car is performing pretty well, and I'm as happy as I can be."
Adrian Sutil: "It was a good day and nice to be back in a Formula One car once again. We started off by doing some aero work this morning when the track was quite cold and green. Later on we moved to some performance work and tyre testing, and feeling all the different Pirelli compounds was something quite new for me.
"It's been almost a year and a half since I last drove, but I found that I was able to get back up to speed quickly and set some good times before lunch. In the afternoon we did some long runs and also introduced the hard compound tyre, which feels quite different to the soft and mediums."
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Pastor Maldonado: "It was a good morning for me. The track was still very cold when we did our first run on new tyres, but the time still looked competitive. We then moved into a race simulation and our race pace looks consistent. We completed our full programme without issue which is positive. The FW35 feels very comfortable to drive so I'm feeling happy."
Valtteri Bottas: "We started the afternoon with some shorter runs but we still haven't seen the full potential of the FW35. I have been able to improve some things in my driving since yesterday, but there are still things I can work on compared to Pastor. We then completed a race simulation. Unfortunately it was cut a little short due to the red flag at the end, but we were still able to try all the tyre compounds and I was able to get a good feeling for how the tyres behave. Overall, the car feels really nice on the longer runs, which is promising."
Jean-Eric Vergne: "We did a solid day's work on a track that is definitely more demanding than Jerez and that gives you a better picture of what your car can do. We did a really good job with a lot of laps, so I am very happy about that.
"Everything we test seems to give us more tools to work with, for when the time comes to start looking for the best set-up and balance and getting performance out of the car. I'd say the car shows excellent potential, which we will begin to exploit at the next test."
Giedo van der Garde: "We've had a pretty productive day and completing 93 laps meant we were able to run through the whole plan we'd set out for today. We had a technical issue in the afternoon which meant we were running without KERS for the whole session after lunch but despite that we were still able to try a number of different setups that give us more to work on tomorrow and several options to work through at the next test.
"One area we are focusing on is improving the rear stability of the car. It definitely has a sharper front end than the 2012 car but we need to take a more detailed look at that tonight and, assuming the rain stays away tomorrow, we can keep working on that on day four of this test."
Max Chilton: "It's been good to be able to pick up from where I left off yesterday. As we've had such a stop-start programme it's important to try to find a rhythm when we can, to ensure the engineers are getting some consistent feedback on this aero before we move to the new configuration next week.
"Once again, it's been the case that much of the benefit will have been felt behind the scenes rather than on the timesheets, especially as we had a red flag at the end of the session when we were hoping to explore more of the outright performance. Having said that, it's good that we still find ourselves ahead of the Caterham again."