Bahrain Test Day One
Driver: Lance Stroll / Felipe Massa
Chassis / Engine: FW40-01 / Mercedes-AMG F1 M08 EQ Power+
Location: Bahrain International Circuit, 5.412km
Weather: Warm and Dry
Maximum air & track temps: 35ºC / 41ºC
Rod Nelson, Chief Test & Support Engineer:
We had an interesting day. It is very different running continuously in the heat of the day rather than under the floodlights, as we do for qualifying and the race. One issue today was the very strong wind, which was blustery so it was stronger at some times and weaker at others, and the track temperatures were in the mid to high forties which makes life a little bit tricky for us. In the morning we focused on performance based runs with Lance, before moving on to a series of longer runs with Felipe in the afternoon, looking at car setup and aero configuration. Despite the problems we had with the weather conditions, it is actually nice to do some testing on a hot track, and it is the first time this year we have had that so we have got plenty to work on now. Tomorrow Gary is in the car and we will continue our aerodynamic tests before moving on to both tyre and mechanical set-up work later in the day.
Today I have used multiple sets of tyres trying different little things, nothing special, just tweaking bits and more driving for myself, which is always good. I need to try small changes to see how the car feels. It really is about the simple stuff. For me all the seat time I can get is good, as there is always something I can gain from being in the car. With tests like today, when we are not limited on what we can do, it is just good to experiment. That is something Williams knows I have to do and also I know that myself. For sure I am out there competing and trying my best, but it is also about understanding and learning before I can reach the maximum of my capability as a racing driver.
Well, it was only a half day today! To be honest the track was very windy. It’s never really easy to understand all the changes that you make with the car, because the track conditions seem to change on every run. So it wasn’t an easy test, but that’s the way it is. Overall we did some good laps and I hope we can use that to understand more and continue to improve the car.