An update from the first day of Formula One in-season testing in Bahrain.
Just two days after claiming fourth place at the Bahrain Grand Prix, Max was today back at the wheel of the RB15 as the first in-season test of 2019 got underway at the Sakhir Circuit. And though the session was uncharacteristically disrupted by rain, Max still managed to get through 62 laps of the desert circuit and posted the day’s fastest lap, a 1:29.379.
“It was a little bit wet, which is strange, but overall I think we had a good day,” said Max. “We managed to get in a lot of laps to help us understand more about our performance over the race weekend, and I think we’ve already learned a lot, so that’s very positive. We don’t get that many days to really understand the car, and during a race weekend it all goes by so quickly, so days like today are very helpful. We knew what didn’t work over the weekend in terms of rear-end grip so we tried to work on that and I think we learned a lot.”
Simon Rennie, Group Leader, Simulator Engineering, added: “Today was a little bit of a strange day due to the rain. Tyre choices for testing are made quite a long way in advance and with a limitation on the number of sets to choose from, everyone naturally went without intermediates or extreme wet tyres, as probability suggests there won’t be heavy rain in Bahrain in April, and yet here we are! Still, despite losing about four-and-a-half hours due to the weather, we managed to get through all of the high priority test items on the run plan for today, so I think we can mark it down as a good outing. We focused on taking forward some of the things we learned from the race weekend here in Bahrain and that meant a lot of aero tests, and a few mechanical items as well. To be honest, it was a fairly straightforward day for us, with no reliability woes and a lot of data gathered. Depending on the weather, it will be more of the same tomorrow when Dan Ticktum takes over from Max. Dan has plenty of simulator experience under his belt, so I don’t expect it to take him to too long to get comfortable with the RB15 and hopefully we’ll have another productive day.”