Tom McCullough, the Performance Engineering Director of the BWT Racing Point F1 Team, said the team know a lot more about the RP20 after the opening pre-season test at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya this week.
Both Sergio Pérez and Lance Stroll drove the car on Wednesday’s opening day of the test before the Mexican had a full day in the RP20 on Thursday, completing a healthy one hundred and forty-five laps.
McCullough said the team managed to get through an ‘extensive’ testing plan on Thursday but that is all part of the learning process when it comes to a new car, with more learning still to come across the remaining test days next week.
“After a positive start to the first test yesterday, our second day of on-track running in Barcelona has been very productive,” said McCullough. “We’re still getting to know the RP20 more and spent the morning focussing on performance running before switching our attention to long-runs this afternoon.
“We managed to get through the extensive test plan that we had scheduled for today and have lots of data to go through as the learning process continues.”
Gearbox Sensor Issue and Red Flags Affect Friday Productivity
Stroll took over the RP20 for the final day on Friday, and despite a gearbox sensor problem breaking up the day, the Canadian was still able to complete well over one-hundred laps.
McCullough says the day was not as productive as they had hoped on Friday with that issue and with the four red flag interventions, but overall, the three days of testing have been encouraging for everyone at Racing Point.
“We had a positive start to the final day of the first test by completing all of the set-up performance run test items that we had planned,” said McCullough. “On Lance’s final run in the morning, we encountered a gearbox sensor problem but we fixed this over lunch and got back out in the afternoon, focussing on long-run performance.
“The issue over lunch and four red flags meant the day was not as productive as we hoped and despite only achieving 116 laps, our learning about the RP20 continued. I think we can say that we have had a positive start to winter testing.
“From here, we need to analyse the data that we have collected and come back next week to ensure that the final three days before Melbourne are as fruitful as possible.”