Daniil Kvyat and Pierre Gasly shared the driving duties for Scuderia AlphaTauri on the final day of the first pre-season test at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya on Friday, with both drivers feeling positive after their first week inside the AT01.
Kvyat drove during the morning session, completing sixty-two laps of the Spanish circuit, and despite having only half a day in the AT01, he felt it was a productive session as the team covered as much as they could in the limited time they had.
“I think today felt quite short, it was only half a day, but it was productive as we squeezed the most out of it,” said Kvyat. “We had a lot of high-quality tests and tried to cover as many laps as we could, so we did well in that respect.
“Now we need to analyse everything and work on more tests to be ready for next week. The car feels like it’s in the ballpark and we’re still fine-tuning it like everyone else is, but the initial feeling is we’ve made some progress compared to last year.
“It’s hard to say how much or if it’s enough, but we’re still trying to unlock the full potential of the car, both on short and long runs.”
Team-mate Gasly took over the driving duties for the final afternoon and completed fifty-nine laps, although his running was compromised by a stay in the pits caused by his floor being damaged.
“It was a really positive afternoon, I had a few more laps in the car and completed some more tests,” said Gasly. “We managed to do all of our long run programme.
“Unfortunately, we had a small delay toward the end of the day which meant we couldn’t finish our performance runs, but it wasn’t too big of an issue as it was already covered by Daniil in the morning session.
“All in all, it was a positive three days for the team, there are a lot of things to analyse for next week, so we can find even more performance.”
‘Another Successful Testing Day’ – Jonathan Eddolls
Jonathan Eddolls, the Chief Race Engineer at AlphaTauri, felt Friday’s running was another success for the team, with the AT01 being put through its paces by both drivers.
Kvyat’s morning session saw AlphaTauri exploring some ‘interesting setup directions’, which Eddolls said were as a result of data from the car that had been analysed after Thursday’s second day, while the Russian was let loose with several different Pirelli tyre compounds to see how the AT01 faired.
“We completed another successful testing day in Barcelona to wrap up what has been a fairly intense three days,” said Eddolls. “Daniil drove in the morning and started the day with the typical aero rake running and some further mapping work.
“Data analysis from last night revealed some interesting setup directions, so these were explored further during the C3 short runs in the morning to confirm the findings. We then gave Daniil the opportunity for some performance running on the C4 compound and the car behaved well in this configuration.
“He closed the morning with two long runs on the C2 compound, testing items to assist with tyre management to build up knowledge for the season ahead.”
Eddolls says the team were unable to do all of their planned performance runs during the afternoon session due to necessary repair work to the floor, but a lot of data was gathered across all three days that will be analysed ahead of next week’s second test.
“Pierre took over the AT01 for the afternoon and planned a number of mechanical and aerodynamic tests over short and long runs,” said Eddolls. “Unfortunately, we lost some test time at the end of the day as we had to renew a fixing in the floor – it was a simple part but time consuming to repair.
“We are already halfway through track running prior to Melbourne, but we have gathered a lot of data exploring the envelope of AT01 and already have a good understanding of the behaviour and characteristics of the car.
“The team will spend the coming days analysing the data in detail and feeding the results into the testing matrix for the final three days of testing next week.”