Snow, rain and cold temperatures conspired to keep nearly all teams from logging any substantive laps in the third day of preseason testing Wednesday at Circuit de Barcelona – Catalunya.
The 4.655-kilometer (2.892-mile), 16-turn track remained wet the entire day, with the runoff areas covered in snow and slush throughout the morning and early afternoon.
Just five drivers braved the elements and ventured onto the track, with only McLaren’s Fernando Alonso logging anything more than reconnaissance laps. The two-time Formula One champion totaled 11 laps, with his best being a 2:18.545.
Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo and Toro Rosso’s Brendon Hartley each made two laps, while Sauber’s Marcus Ericsson and Williams’ Robert Kubica drove a single lap apiece.
Teams anticipate a slight reprieve from these treacherous conditions on Thursday, where the weather forecast calls for sun in the morning with slightly warmer temperatures before rain returns late in the afternoon.
“Not running a day of testing, when you’ve got only four per driver, is a shame. Obviously, the conditions out there are what they are. There’s nothing you can do about that. It’s just a shame we couldn’t find another day to go out there, because I believe that testing is very important for the teams, and especially for us. We’re losing some time not being able to test properly. Again, the weather is what it is and there’s nothing we can do about it. I guess the only option was to change the day, but that hasn’t gone through. We will live with it and, obviously, for next week we’re hoping for a much smoother week with better weather and better temperatures. We just need to creep up that mileage.”
“Today was a frustrating day because we didn’t get anything in. There’s always plenty to do, but you try to come here to make progress with your car and to learn something. We obviously didn’t achieve that today. A cold weather front like this is not usual for this time of year. Sometimes these things just happen. We have to live with it and try to do our best, but it makes it a long day.”
Teammate Kevin Magnussen returns to the Haas VF-18 on Thursday to complete the first week of testing. After a four-day break, teams return to Barcelona for the second and final round of preseason testing March 6-9. Magnussen drives March 6 and March 8, while Grosjean drives March 7 and March 9.