Date: Tuesday, Feb. 23
Location: Circuit de Barcelona – Catalunya
Layout: 4.655-kilometer (2.89-mile), 16-turn circuit
Driver: Esteban Gutiérrez
Laps Completed: 79
Distance Completed: 367.745 kilometers (228.51 miles)
Best Lap Time: 1:25.524
Fastest Lap: 1:22.810 by Sebastian Vettel (Scuderia Ferrari)
Most Laps: 172 by Nico Rosberg (Mercedes)
The day began with an installation lap at 10:29 a.m., with Esteban Gutiérrez returning the VF-16 to the track for a handful of five-lap runs between 10:52 a.m. and 12:44 p.m. A successful 12-lap stint at 3:33 p.m. set the stage for a strong afternoon. Among three runs totaling 33 laps, Gutiérrez not only ran lap after trouble-free lap, he methodically advanced up the timing charts. At 6 p.m. when the track went cold, Gutiérrez was the sixth-quickest driver. His best time of 1:25.524 came on his 70th lap, when the VF-16 was shod on the Pirelli P Zero Yellow soft tire. Gutiérrez ran the morning session on the Pirelli P Zero White medium (prime) tire before switching to the softs at 4:43 p.m., which was the team’s eighth multi-lap run of the day. The 79 laps amassed today by Gutiérrez brings Haas F1 Team’s laps-completed total thus far in testing to 110, as Romain Grosjean logged 31 laps in the VF-16’s testing debut Monday.
Esteban Gutiérrez, Driver No. 21, Haas F1 Team
“It was a very positive day for us, especially as a new team. It was very exciting to do the first lap. Even though it was an installation lap, it was a very special moment. After months of analyzing, learning about the car, the different strategies, to finally get a feeling for the car was very important.
“I really want to thank the whole team because they have done a really big effort. Obviously, we found ourselves with some very basic problems, but we have reacted in a very positive way and the guys are working day and night. We have done a very good job – 79 laps today. So, pretty much what we wanted to do – a lot of miles. We’ll continue this program for the rest of the week.”
Dave O’Neill, Team Manager, Haas F1 Team
“Well, we started off a little late this morning as we had some updates on the power unit which we had to get on. Once they were installed there was obviously a bit of downtime checking over everything to make sure we had a car we can start testing with properly. Then we got into the program. We’ve cycled the tires so we’ve been through the softs and the primes. At lunch we made some setup changes and put on a new floor. In the afternoon we were just going for reliability running. We did a few sets of 10-lap runs with the soft tires. We made some mechanical changes to the car as well, including ride height and a couple of roll-bar changes. We’ve been stopping on the marks for the driver and checking out the pit equipment. Hopefully, we can start doing some pit-stop practice in the next day or so. We achieved 79 laps. We’ve had a good day and the team’s really starting to gel. It’s all positive.”
Grosjean is back behind the wheel of the VF-16 Wednesday in preseason testing at Barcelona. Testing runs through Thursday, whereupon Gutiérrez returns to the seat. After a four-day break, teams come back to Barcelona for a second and final round of preseason testing March 1-4. Gutiérrez will drive March 1-2 and Grosjean wraps the test March 3-4.