Guillaume Rocquelin happy with Red Bull’s lengthy Wednesday schedule


Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd.

Guillaume Rocquelin has expressed his pleasure in the work done by Aston Martin Red Bull Racing on the second day of the second test at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, as Daniel Ricciardo recovered from a slight illness to top the timing boards.

Ricciardo broke Felipe Massa‘s ten-year-old unofficial track record at the current configuration with a 1:18.047, set on the new for 2018 hyper-soft tyre compound, nearly four-tenths ahead of Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport‘s Lewis Hamilton.

Red Bull’s attention turned to long runs in the afternoon, Rocquelin saying that the team treated it as a “Grand Prix weekend”, using several compounds of tyre in the process. The Frenchman also said that Red Bull stuck to their initial plan, a rarity in winter testing.

On most days at testing you draw up your run plan, with every minute of the day accounted for, and within an hour you’ve torn that up and started to move things around,” said Rocquelin.

“Today wasn’t like that and we managed to get through every item on the agenda.

“We focused largely on working as if at a Grand Prix weekend, so we tried a variety of tyre compounds, we did long runs on high fuel and then a full race simulation, including pit stops and everything.”

Rocquelin acknowledged Ricciardo’s fitness, praising his “impressive” effort – the Australian completed 165 laps over the course of the day, more than any other driver.

“I think the hardest part of today was for Daniel, who wasn’t well yesterday,” he added.

“These are fit guys, but when you’re not in top form to be asked to get through the workload he did today and lap in the 1m18s is pretty impressive, so hats off to him.”

Rocquelin concluded by saying that Ricciardo’s team-mate Max Verstappen will be subjected to the same programme tomorrow.

“In all, it was a very good day for us today. We’ll do the same programme with Max tomorrow and hopefully we’ll maintain the level of reliability we showed today.”