S o has a test day not yet experienced Formula 1. When the traffic light turned green in the morning, the temperatures were still below zero. The wet spots on the track were frozen to ice. Kevin Magnussen sailed off the track at 120 km /h. Sebastian Vettel joked: “That wasn't driving. You slipped on slicks like in the rain. ”The Ferrari driver was afraid that he would even make it to the racetrack:“ I live on a mountain. If it snows properly there, I won't get down with my summer tires. ”
The thermometer peaked in the early afternoon. Lousy 5.6 degrees. After all, the drivers then dared to go out onto the slopes more often. It took up to 10 laps for the Medium tires to get into their work area. “I drove out of the pits from the lap like in qualification, so that things would warm up. That was a fine line to take off because the tires were still cold at the beginning, ”reported Carlos Sainz.
Tires not on temperature
Renault then changed its program and donated it Spaniards a sentence of soft so that he didn't have to struggle so hard on the medium tires. Ferrari also switched from medium to soft. “You could easily have driven a race distance on the medium tires,” reported Vettel.
Red Bull colleague Max Verstappen groaned: “You have to go full throttle straight out of the pits so that the temperature doesn't even run out the tire escapes. And yet you get faster with every lap. The new asphalt makes the whole thing even more difficult. ”
Robert Kubica also swore that one of his rare test opportunities was rendered unusable by the conditions. “The weather got worse and worse in the course of the afternoon. For the last hour it was just plain impassable. But still it was a nice feeling to get back in the car. ”
Vandoorne on Hypersoft tires
McLaren even unpacked the new Hypersoft tires. “We only had short stints in the program because we still wanted to learn a few things about our new car in terms of setups and collect aero data. You can't expect your driver to warm up for a long time ”, explained team principal Eric Boullier.
Stoffel Vandoorne thanked him with the third fastest lap of the day. The Belgian was satisfied despite the miserable conditions: “The first impression is very positive: the car reacts logically. There were no nasty surprises. ”Except fora broken exhaust mount that started a small fire in the stern. The cables and sensors were burned. Especially that of the braking system.
Carlos Sainz does not want to rely on his first impression yet. “If the car's balance was good today, that doesn't necessarily mean that it is still good at 20 degrees. Today it was all about putting kilometers on the car and my neck. ”After 65 laps, the trip ended because of a problem with the wheel nut. Renault officially downplayed it. However, it meant that the test day was canceled prematurely. '
Yellow flags because of snowfall
Sainz almost had to laugh in the cockpit:' It's stupid that we are in the cold spell right now Got to Barcelona. In any case, I've never been shown yellow flags as a warning of snowfall. 'Every now and then, white flakes fell from the sky. That should increase on Wednesday.
Sainz came to the conclusion: 'You can't really speak of a test day.' The engineers would agree with him. You are as smart as before. “The lap times don't say much. Therefore it is pointless to make comparisons. We collect data for the aerodynamics, check the correlation with our tools and add kilometers to the car and engine, 'said Mercedes. Valtteri Bottas, who set the second fastest time behind Vettel, sighed: 'These tires are not built for the cold.'