We are pouring through the data after a busy but unsurprising day of practice at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.
Coming into this weekend, the team knew this venue would not play to the strengths of our FW45 and that showed with Logan Sargeant in P19 and Alex Albon in P20 after FP1, before flipping positions at the end of FP2.
However, it remained a busy day for our duo during two clean practice sessions that saw no stoppages or yellow flag periods.
Alex Albon recorded 60 laps across the two sessions, with Logan notching up 63 laps as both worked their way through a variety of compounds, including the prototype tyre that will be introduced from Silverstone.
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“This track never really suited us but I don’t think our car feels that bad,” our No23 explained.
“There’s not a fundamental issue with it that we have to try to fix for tomorrow, but that’s also not a great feeling because the car is where it is.
“We can find a couple of tenths here or there if we get everything right, which we’ll go for, but not much more as this is just where we’re at.
“We’re sort of a normal gap from the top but there are some of the midfield teams like Haas, Alfa Romeos and McLarens doing a very good job, only a tenth off the Mercedes, which makes it look a bit worse.
“The changes to the last couple of corners of the track feel nice. It’s made it a bit more physical which is always a challenge which makes it fun for the drivers.”
Across the other side of the garage, Logan reflected on his first day in F1 machinery at this familiar circuit.
“We reacted well from FP1 to get the car in a reasonable window for FP2,” Logan shared.
“Honestly as a team, it’s not where we want to be on pace, so we have some work to do for sure.
“I think we have the car in a reasonable place for the quali and race sims, so we just need to get more out of it tomorrow.”
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Dave Robson, Head of Vehicle Performance, was happy with the amount of clean running our two drivers were able to achieve, commenting: “It’s always good to come to Barcelona and get a reference for the car.
“It’s clear that we weren’t very quick today, which isn’t too surprising, but there is still a lot to learn about where that deficit stems from.
“We completed some setup tests in FP1 and got some useful direction. We reverted to a more normal Barcelona setup for FP2, which the drivers preferred.
“We took the opportunity to look at the new tyre construction, which we will race from the British GP onwards.
“It will be difficult tomorrow, but there are still a few things to look at that may allow us to extract a bit more pace from the car in qualifying.
“There is also the possibility of some variable weather, which may also present a useful opportunity.”
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