Oracle Red Bull Racing finished a productive week at Formula One’s pre-season shakedown event in Barcelona this evening. Both Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez were in the car on Friday, with the World Champion running during the morning session and the Mexican taking over the wheel for the afternoon respectively.
Max completed 59 laps in the RB18 before Checo clocked up 74 in some wet weather conditions at a cloudy Circuit de Barcelona Catalunya. The drivers will return to the track in Bahrain next month for final testing, before the F1 season begins on March 17.
“Everything worked well in the running we got and the car felt good, but our morning was somewhat interrupted by a number of red flags across the session so we couldn’t complete all of our planned programme. We just continued from what I did on day one and I think that was the most important objective for Barcelona. What is positive is that the car is running smoothly, I don’t pay attention to the lap times just yet, I will look into that when we get into Q3 in Bahrain. I just focus on doing a lot of laps and nailing down every single aspect of the car. I have really enjoyed driving the RB18 this week, it has a nice stable balance and I think it looks cool as well so it’s good to jump into. I think following does seem a little easier in these cars, of course we won’t know if there is any real change until race one when everyone is on the same tyres and fuel, but my initial thoughts are that I do think it’s a step forward.”
“I think we have a good baseline and good potential. It is obviously early days, but I am really hopeful we will make some good steps before Bahrain and keep progressing with all the information we are going to gather from Barcelona. It is important to keep learning from my driving and the way I am adapting to the car and my team and then what the best way will be to maximise that. I think this season the challenge will be about maximising the whole weekend under the new regulations.”
Head of Race Engineering Guillaume Rocquelin
“We had a good day today, the drivers were happy and we started to put in some decent lap times. To sum up the week I would say it has been a very promising few days with this new car and the most pleasing thing for me is that we have got a solid platform and direction to build from. We will consolidate some things that we have learnt here before Bahrain, but it is more considerate than a big step.”