Barcelona Test No.1: Day 3 Recap

Date: Wednesday, February 20

Location: Circuit de Barcelona – Catalunya, Spain

Layout: 4.655-kilometer (2.892-mile), 16-turn circuit

Driver: Pietro Fittipaldi (Morning) / Romain Grosjean (Afternoon)

Laps Completed: Fittipaldi – 48 laps / Grosjean – 69 laps

Distance Completed: Fittipaldi223.44 kilometers (138.816 miles)

Distance Completed: Grosjean – 321.195 kilometers (199.548.44 miles)

Best Lap Time: Fittipaldi - 1:19.249 (8th overall) / Grosjean - 1:19.060 (7th overall)

Fastest Lap: 1:17.704 by Daniil Kyvat of Toro Rosso

Most Laps: 138 laps by Kimi Raikkonen of Alfa Romeo Racing

Pietro Fittipaldi was back at the wheel of the Haas VF-19 Wednesday at Circuit de Barcelona – Catalunya having ended Tuesday’s running with a brief 13-lap outing in relief of Kevin Magnussen. The Brazilian made a prompt departure from the garage at 9 a.m. local time to make the most of his half-day program at the 4.655-kilometer (2.892-mile), 16-turn track, with Romain Grosjean scheduled to drive in the afternoon.

Fittipaldi enjoyed a solid morning racking up 41 laps cycling through the C2 and C3 tire compounds from Pirelli. An ignition-coil related issue forced a temporary halt to proceedings, but a short-stay in the garage to fix the issue was followed by seven more laps, this time on the softer C4 rubber. Fittipaldi’s fastest lap followed, a 1:19.249 – good for sixth overall by the end of his stint.

Grosjean strapped in after lunch, but a repeat of the earlier electrical issue saw the Frenchman parked up inside the garage for two hours having been forced to stop the VF-19 on his opening run. Despite this, the final couple of hours produced plenty of mileage for Grosjean, starting with a run on fresh C3 rubber which netted his quick lap of 1:19.060, placing him 7th from the 13 drivers on-track Wednesday. With the team opting for long distance running to close out the day, Grosjean recorded a total of 69 laps by the checkered flag.

Toro Rosso’s Daniil Kyvat set the day’s fastest time (1:17.704) with Alfa Romeo Racing’s Kimi Raikkonen setting the most laps (138).

In a change to the scheduled order, Grosjean – not Fittipaldi, will drive Thursday morning with Magnussen concluding the opening week of testing in the afternoon.

Pietro Fittipaldi:

“It was a really productive morning, we ran a lot of laps, which is the most important thing in the first week of testing. We went through a big run-plan to test a lot of things on the car. We found some interesting things. It was good for me to get back into the car. Last year in Abu Dhabi, I didn’t get a full day in, but I felt like I adapted quickly. Running that little bit yesterday was also very helpful. It was like a shakedown. We had to adjust the pedals after Tuesday’s run, so it was good that it could be done overnight, we didn’t lose any time today doing that. I’m happy with my run, the pace was decent, but more importantly, we ran a lot of miles.”   

Romain Grosjean:

“It’s not been a bad day to be fair. Yes, we came back a couple of times on the flatbed truck having had to stop the car on track, but that’s part of testing, it’s finding out what the limitations are, and what we can do better on the car. It’s not ideal, and we’d like to do more mileage, but the more we drive, the more we find the car is getting better. The feeling in the car is good. Positive steps have been made since I ran on Monday, and I was already happy then, I’m even happier now. We’re getting there. I’m quite pleased with all the work that’s been done.”

Guenther Steiner:

“It was a pretty good morning of testing for Pietro (Fittipaldi), he got a lot of laps in. We had a small issue, but he got going again and carried on with our program. He did a good job. It’s quite amazing as he comes into this environment, with everyone watching, and delivers a mature performance in testing. Our thanks go to him for the job he’s done. The rest of the day saw us with a few too many stops out on the track. We need to get rid of these failures. We got a good amount of mileage in at the end of the day though. We keep on learning, but we want to fast-track the process to get us ready for the Australian Grand Prix.”