Sergio Pérez was in a positive frame of mind after the first day of pre-season testing at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya on Wednesday, although the Mexican knows that despite a promising start to 2020, there is still a long way to go.
The BWT Racing Point F1 Team racer completed fifty-eight laps of the Spanish circuit on Wednesday morning before handing the reigns of the RP20 over to team-mate Lance Stroll, with Pérez finishing third fastest overall, behind the two Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team drivers.
Pérez said his initial impressions of the 2020 RP20 were positive but at this time of the year it is just important to get mileage on the car so he can learn more and more about its characteristics before the season gets underway in Australia next month.
“My first impressions of the new car are positive,” said Pérez. “Obviously, there’s still a long way to go with a lot of things we have to get on top of – but it’s definitely a promising start.
“We spent the morning learning about the car and did a lot of aero testing with a couple of quick laps. Putting mileage onto the car is really important, especially with a limited amount of testing days available, and we have already gathered good information for the engineers.
“Hopefully we can keep improving in the coming days.”
Smooth Afternoon ‘The Best Way to Start a Test’ – Stroll
Team-mate Stroll took over the car for the afternoon and completed fifty more laps, with his best time seeing him ending tenth fastest of the fifteen drivers who hit the track.
He admitted it was good to get back behind the wheel after the winter break, but like Pérez he acknowledges there is plenty of work ahead of them before the season starts.
“I feel good but it’s still early days,” said the Canadian. “We had a smooth afternoon and I completed over 200 kilometres of running without any problems. That’s the best way to start a test.
“It nice to be back behind the wheel again after the winter break. The first day of testing is all about getting comfortable and clocking up the laps on the car. There’s a lot of work ahead of us over the next couple of weeks – but there’s a good atmosphere in the garage after day one.”
‘The Feedback from Checo and Lance has been Positive’ – McCullough
Tom McCullough, the Performance Engineering Director at Racing Point, said it was a good first day for the RP20, with Wednesday being used not only as the first day of testing but also as the first shakedown of the new car.
He was happy that more than one hundred laps were completed between the two drivers, with no significant dramas or delays for either Pérez or Stroll as they focused on putting mileage on the new car.
“As well as today being the first day of testing, it effectively acted as the shakedown of the RP20,” said McCullough. “We were up late last night preparing the car – but we managed to take to the track for our first installation laps more or less on time. I have to thank the crew in Barcelona and everybody back at base for their hard work.
“Today we focussed on completing systems checks and putting mileage on the car. Later on we also began the aero mapping. The feedback from Checo and Lance has been positive and there were no significant dramas during the day.”