F1 notes and quotes: Abu Dhabi Test Day 2

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The final day of two at Formula One’s last day of running at the Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi is in the books. This also draws the curtain, officially, on 2014’s on-track running.

Here’s a quick round-up of more notes and quotes from the team releases after Wednesday’s session:

  • McLaren (see Tuesday report here): A second straight day of issues plagued McLaren’s running with its interim MP4-29X1/H1 chassis and Honda engine. An electrical issue from the off cost them the morning, and while Stoffel Vandoorne began a four-lap run in the afternoon, the car shut down. Nevertheless, Eric Boullier said better now than later. “It’s useful to discover these issues pre-Christmas, as it allows us to deepen our understanding of the complex integration between power-unit, ancillaries and the car,” he said. “And, to be honest, I’d rather be ironing out these problems here in Abu Dhabi, than discovering them in Jerez, next February.”
  • Mercedes (Tuesday report): Beyond the aero and tire work, Mercedes was also able to try some new parts good for the 2015 regulations. Reserve driver Pascal Wehrlein acquitted himself nicely in his first on-track day after simulator work prior to that.
  • Ferrari: Raffaele Marciello took over from Kimi Raikkonen and like the Finn on Tuesday, ended second. But more than the result, or the 91 laps, the simple fact of being an Italian in a Ferrari made his day.
  • Red Bull (Tuesday report): Daniel Ricciardo took over from Carlos Sainz Jr. The Australian banked 87 laps before stopping early due to a mechanical failure, bringing back memories – or nightmares – of the team’s troubled preseason testing earlier this year. It was still a productive day for the smiling Australian, who also worked on starting procedures.
  • Toro Rosso: After a troubled Tuesday where a suspension failure in the morning cost Max Verstappen half the day, today was much busier for the Faenza-based Toro Rosso crew.  Explained chief race engineer Phil Charles, “We had a very productive day, especially in the morning, when we ran continuously, even squeezing in an extra run before lunch. However, at the start of the afternoon, a technical problem kept the car in the garage for around three hours. The mechanics worked really well to get the car back out on track and we even woke up some of our nightshift guys to come and help! Thanks to their efforts we managed to give Max a further three runs.”
  • Lotus: The only team to run two drivers on the same day, and three for the week, brought out Esteban Ocon for the morning for 34 laps, and Alex Lynn in the afternoon for 52. A fluid leak scuppered Ocon’s program early. Having had an FP1 under his belt though, Ocon was more comfortable for his second run. Lynn expressed thanks for the opportunity and was pleased with the car’s reactions.
  • Force India (Tuesday report): Spike Goddard completed 89 trouble-free laps in his testing debut. “The VJM07 is a massive step up from my Formula 3 car so the first part of the day was devoted to adjusting to the new machinery,” he said. “The power and downforce of these cars is something on a completely different level; it was a massive shock to the system, but I got used to it fairly soon.”
  • Williams: The Tuesday leaders swapped Valtteri Bottas out and brought reserve driver Felipe Nasr in for one final day for the Brazilian leaves for Sauber. Aero and tire testing was the focus over his 83 laps. Said Nasr after his last day with the team: “It’s always nice to drive the FW36 and to have the chance to drive it on the final day of 2014 was very enjoyable.”
  • Sauber (Tuesday report): Marcus Ericsson led all runners with 112 laps completed on Wednesday, and like others was focused on aero and tire work. The test for him was more about integrating into a new team. “I had a good time getting to know the people within the team, and starting to work with everyone,” said the Swede. “Starting to drive the C33, building my feeling for the car, and giving my input for next year’s car was important.”
  • Caterham (Tuesday report): Another 76 laps for Will Stevens capped off his and the team’s running for 2014, and did himself good work over the last few days. “We cannot complain about the reliability here in Abu Dhabi, it’s been a trouble-free week. I’ve learned so much over the weekend and the past two days, I’ve got to the point where I now feel very comfortable in the car. Ot’s been a great week and I want to thank both the team and the fans for giving me this opportunity. Now let’s wait and see what the future brings.”