On what started out as a damp penultimate day to winter testing, it was Lance Stroll that had the solo duties of completing as much mileage in what has already been an impressive February for Racing Point.
The Canadian managed to rack up an impressive 130 laps with little to no issues and clocking an eye-opening 1:17.118 in process on the medium Pirelli rubber. What was more interesting was the fact that this time was just a couple tenths shy of Sebastian Vettel‘s fastest lap of the day, which was set on the softest compound. things are looking promising for the pink panthers.
Stroll was quick to put his stamp of approval on the progress that the RP20 has been making in the first five days if testing so far.
“We put in a lot of laps – my neck’s going to be a bit stiff in the morning! We got held up a bit by the rain in the morning and it was really windy in the afternoon, which compromised running for everyone a bit. But all-in-all some solid running and the car felt pretty good out there.
“We’ve definitely improved the car in terms of the balance on both short and long runs and the team have done a great job of dialling it in more and more as the days have gone by. It’s a bit weird having less time in the car compared to previous years, but I’d say this has been my best pre-season so far.” explained Stroll.
Difficult day but McCullough praises Stroll’s performance
Performance Engineering Director, Tom McCullough was also in positive spirits despite the mixed conditions at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, heaping much praise in Stroll’s consistency and how much of the programme they were able to complete today.
“It was a bit of a difficult day, due mainly to the wet start and generally cold conditions. When the track did eventually dry out, the wind became particularly strong – the strongest it’s been in testing so far. Despite the strong winds, Lance did not put a foot wrong, thus maximising the available track time.
“In light of the weather conditions, we prioritised what was possible to achieve from our test plan, with some performance runs in the morning on the softer compounds followed by longer runs in the afternoon, which were unfortunately interrupted by red flags.
“Overall, a day of damage limitation in terms of productivity – but the car ran reliably and we’ve furthered our understanding of how to work with it, which is all valuable learning ahead of Melbourne.” said McCullough.
Sergio Perez will be riding solo in the car on Friday, as Racing Point and every other team will be looking for clearer running on the all-important final day of testing before Melbourne in 2 weeks time.