The first in-season test of the 2017 campaign got underway at the Sakhir Circuit today, with Daniel Ricciardo back behind the wheel of the RB13 after his fifth-place finish in last Sunday’s Bahrain Grand Prix. However, while the team had a successful morning, building on the lessons learned from this season’s first three races, a power unit issue in the afternoon forced the team to call an early halt to its running.
I think we discovered a few things.
Commenting on his morning in the car, Daniel said: "It was a good outing for the aero department – we did a lot of data gathering in the first hour, which all went to plan, and that's important for the guys, even though for a driver it's not the most thrilling thing, as you're just trundling around really! After that we did a few runs on the soft tyre and made a few mechanical changes, which were interesting, we then completed a couple of runs on the supersoft. I think we discovered a few things there. You do try some bigger set-up steps than you might do on a race weekend and it was interesting to see what the results of those changes were. We were planning a few long runs in the afternoon but obviously the power unit issue prevented that."
Senior Projects Engineer Jeff Calam added: "This is the team's first real opportunity to look at everything we've learned over the first three races of the season and use that data as a platform for gaining a better understanding of the RB13 and improving the car. In that regard it was good to have Daniel in the car today in order to match some of that work to what he and the team achieved at the weekend here in Bahrain. Through the early part of today we got through some useful aero and tyre testing and also some good set-up work. This afternoon we had intended to focus more on longer runs, but then we encountered an issue with the power unit. It was doubtful that we'd get running again before the end of the session, so better to call time and plan ahead for tomorrow. We'll have Pierre Gasly in the car on Wednesday and hopefully we'll have a trouble-free day."