Daniel Ricciardo is pleased to have finally racked up a large amount of mileage in a single day of testing after completing 142 laps in Barcelona on Friday.
The Australian driver posted the fastest time of the day with a best lap of 1:24.574, edging out Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen by 0.010 seconds at the top of the timesheets.
However, the more impressive stat was that he was able to complete a full race simulation on Friday afternoon, managing a full 66-lap run that included pit stops, just as he would do in a grand prix.
For Ricciardo, getting a large amount of mileage under his belt was the priority in Barcelona, and he was encouraged by the pace that the RB11 showed.
“It was good,” he said. “We wanted to get a day with a 100-plus laps on the board and we did that and more today. It was very solid.
“We also got through some pit stop practice and some good long runs, which is very positive. I know it’s just testing but it is encouraging seeing us on top or at least in that front group. Obviously you have no idea what everyone is doing, but it is encouraging.
“The car feels good. It has similar characteristics to RB10 in terms of how the chassis feels but that’s a good thing, as I think we had a pretty good car last year. All in all a really good day’s work.”
Red Bull’s head of race engineering Guillaume Rocquelin was pleased with the team’s showing on Friday after a truncated Thursday of running, and also explained that the issue which caused Ricciardo to stop at the end of the pit lane in the morning was a minor one.
“Day one was all about tuning the new elements we had brought here and it was always going to be a bit stop-start but by the end of yesterday we were on top of that and running well and today was the reward for all that hard work,” Rocquelin explained.
“We had a small issue on Daniel’s installation lap, again caused by a software gremlin, but that was quickly sorted and we could get to work on the programme we had in place.
“In the morning that meant a lot of pit stop practice first thing, giving way to some tire work in advance of our afternoon programme. We switched over to long runs in the afternoon and by the close of play we’d got through everything we wanted to on the day.”
Ricciardo will hand the RB11 over to his teammate, Daniil Kvyat, for the next two days of testing in Barcelona.