Red Bull’s Guillaume Rocquelin: “Now it’s about building on what we have”

Max Verstappen completed only 35 laps on Thursday
Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd

Guillaume Rocquelin, head of race engineering at Aston Martin Red Bull Racing, said the lack of running on the final day of the first pre-season test at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya on Thursday was not ideal, particularly as track conditions were the best they had been all week long.

Max Verstappen was behind the wheel of the RB14 on the final day, but completed only thirty-five laps, with his day ending with a spin into the gravel trap in turn twelve having already lost time earlier in the day with a technical issue.

Rocquelin hopes for better weather and more luck to come Red Bull’s way next week during the second four-day test so that they can further evaluate just where they are in relation to their main rivals at the front of the field.

“Not an ideal end to what has been a pretty tricky week,” admitted Rocquelin. “In the early morning the track took a long time to get to a condition where we felt there was any point in running, and then we focused mainly on aero work.

“We were finally able to run on dry tyres from about 2pm onwards. We had a reliability issue in the afternoon, and Max had a spin, which led to us calling a halt, but the issues we had are easy fixes and in general we’re pretty happy with how the car runs, so now it’s about building on what we have.

“The real difficulty this week was in not being able to maximise the time available and that was a bit frustrating. However, we are reasonably happy with what the RB14 delivered in its first outing and we now have a bit of time back at base to work on next week’s test, when hopefully the weather conditions will be a bit kinder.”