Day 2 of the second Catalunya test: Sainz keeps McLaren on top

Day 2 of the second Catalunya test: Sainz keeps McLaren on top

Carlos Sainz
photo: McLaren

Carlos Sainz completed his highest number of testing laps so far in the McLaren MCL34. The team carried out a number of qualifying and race simulation runs as well as aero and set-up work.

The morning session was disrupted briefly by a loss of water pressure. Sainz stopped shortly after exiting the pit-lane, after which the car was wheeled back to the garage. Despite this, and a substantial red flag period caused by another car, the team was able to execute its test programme as planned.

“It’s been a good day of work. We managed to do a lot of laps again today and more or less a full race simulation. There are still a few niggles and stoppages that we wish we didn’t have, but every time we go out on track we’re a bit more reliable and we keep moving in the right direction. Overall, I’m happy that we made the most of the time on track today”, Sainz said.

“The timesheets still aren’t important. We’re only focused on our run plans and tests, rather than wasting our energy on trying to calculate where we’re at compared to the others. Once we see what everyone else brings in Australia we’ll be in a better position to compare our performance.”

“For the moment, I’ll look back over these six days with my engineers, what I liked, what I didn’t like. We’ll try to put together the best compromise for my last day in the car on Friday.”

Sergio Perez put Racing Point second while Sebastian Vettel with Ferrari was third

“It was a good day, even though we had a bit of a slow start. We had a couple of small issues here and there and the red flags didn’t help. But in the end, we finished the day with plenty of information. We were able to finally try some long runs after being pretty limited on mileage last week. We got to try the softer compounds of the Pirelli range and I was happy about the grip they offer. I had a good feeling with them. And I hope we get to use them often this season, because they should work well on the majority of tracks. I am looking forward to a good, trouble-free final day on the car on Friday”, Perez explained.

Sebastian Vettel went out on track shortly after 9am and was trying the car in different configurations. Halfway through the morning, a mechanical problem with the front left corner on the SF90 saw Sebastian go off the track at Turn 3. The driver was unhurt but went to the medical centre for the usual checks.

Once back in the garage, the team set about a check of the car to establish the cause of the crash. The analysis is still on course. Meanwhile the SF90 was repaired in time for Charles Leclerc to get out in the afternoon for an installation lap.

“Clearly, we have not done as much running as we would have liked”, Sebastian told the press during the lunch break

“But I’d still say I’m getting a positive feeling from the car. Last week was definitely productive as we completed a lot of mileage. And also yesterday, we were able to make up for the track time lost in the morning”. “As for the accident, I was going into Turn 3 and I had a feeling there was an issue with the front left corner of the car. From then on, there was nothing I could do to avoid the impact. The good thing is I am totally fine. By the end of the day, thanks to a great job from the mechanics, we even managed to get the car back on track.”