Guillaume Rocquelin, Head of Race Engineering at Aston Martin Red Bull Racing, hailed the reliability of the new RB14, saying that the car’s reliability “gives [the team] plenty to work with ahead of the first race.”
Red Bull had a torrid time last season, failing to finish thirteen times across the twenty races – the most of any team. This year’s car however seems to have proved its better than the aptly-named RB13, having completed “a pretty ambitious run plan” without issue.
“Well, last night we were hoping for a repeat of the good running we had with Daniel yesterday and we got it,” said Rocquelin. “As with yesterday, we drew up a pretty ambitious run plan, but we managed to get through the whole programme.
“Of course, there are lots of teams getting some good mileage on their cars as well, so we’re not patting ourselves on the back, but the kind of reliability we’ve had these past two days hasn’t always been our strong suit in pre-season in recent times. The reliability gives us plenty to work with ahead of the first race.”
The RB14, driven by Max Verstappen, was able to complete 187 laps of the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya on Thursday – the second- most of any driver that day. Scuderia Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel finished the highest number of laps with 188, but was also able to set a new track record – a 1:17.182s – within that run.
Whilst Verstappen’s fastest time of a 1:19.842s – over two and a half seconds off the Ferrari’s pace – could be a sign of a weaker car, Rocquelin says Red Bull aren’t worried, as the team aren’t “chasing lap times”.
“In terms of what we got through today, it was very similar to what we did with Daniel yesterday – some tyre work this morning, race simulation in the afternoon and no problems. Max didn’t do any performance running on the softest tyres, simply because we’re not chasing lap times, it’s not suited to this circuit, and we got the data we needed on that tyre from Daniel’s runs yesterday.”