Barcelona Test Two: Williams Martini Racing, Day Three
Driver: Felipe Massa
Chassis / Engine: FW38-02 / PU106C Hybrid
Location: Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, 4.655km
Weather: Warm and Dry
Maximum air & track temps: 18ºC / 28ºC
Rod Nelson, Chief Test & Support Engineer:
It’s been another productive day for us. We started off with some suspension and tire tests this morning when the conditions were more stable, as usual here in Barcelona. Over the lunchbreak we did a grid process simulation, and then a first race stint straight after. We’ve also completed a qualifying simulation running on mediums, softs, and ultrasofts at the end. Sadly, Felipe couldn’t set his potentially quickest time on the ultrasofts due to traffic, so he was actually quickest on a soft tyre. We also did some more system work and aero evaluations, so a bit of everything really. We’ll spend a few days following the tests looking at all the data but I think we can be reasonably positive that we are up there at the sharp end. Exactly where we are we will only really know after the first few races of the season though. In terms of development, Felipe and Valtteri are both giving similar feedback. They are sensitive to different aspects of car performance, but they broadly agree with each other’s comments, which really helps. They push each other on sportingly and technically, so are a good combination.
Today has been a very positive day. We managed to do our program without any problems, which included some long runs and also some short runs. We tried the soft and even ultrasoft tires. Unfortunately I couldn’t do my ultrasoft lap because we had some traffic, but overall it was a very good day and good to understand the car in a better way. I am definitely much happier this week compared to last week. We are almost ready for the first race, which is really when we will have a proper idea of where we are compared to the others, but today was a good day.