The Williams Martini team would again run rookie Lance Stroll for their third day of testing at the Barcelona circuit. Even though it was a productive day for the Canadian as he gets use to the new FW40 it was still a day hampered by off-track moments. Lance would spin the car twice during the day with the second incident damaging the FW40 seeing his day come to an end. There are questions as to whether the team is going to be able to repair the car and run on the final day of testing.
Test 01:03:2017 Day Three
Chassis / Engine: FW40-01 / Mercedes-AMG F1 M08 EQ Power+
Location: Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, 4.655km
Weather: Warm and Dry
Maximum air & track temps: 20ºC / 28ºC
As a result of the damage of the FW40, after Lance Stroll spun the car
during the second day of the Williams Martin teams Barcelona test, there
would be some delay before the car would come out for the third day of
testing. Lance would continue in the car despite the fact that Felipe Massa
had been listed. The day would start off with only a limited number of
drivers setting times and after the first hour it would be Vettel who was
fastest with a 1m:22.222. But Bottas would go quicker with a 1m:21.632 but
he was using the soft tyre. After about an hour and a half into the session
Lance would finally take to the track after the Williams team completed
repairs to his car.
Lance would be on the soft tyre for his first run. He would complete two
laps in order to check the car prior to pitting. It would not be until just
under two hours into the day that Lance would return to the track. After
another two laps he would pit again but would return after a brief stop.
Lance would set a 1m:27.848 to be a distant sixth. But would use the soft
tyres to good effect to set a 1m:23.750 to move up to third but was still
2.1 seconds behind the quickest time set by Vettel with a 1m:21.609. Lance
had completed twelve laps with two hours of the session completed. Lance was
able to improve with a 1m23.305 having completed twenty two laps prior to
Quickest was now Bottas with a 1m:21.107 followed by Vettel and Ericsson.
The time set by Bottas was the quickest from testing so far. A further
improvement from Lance would see him set a 1m:22.351 remaining fourth. But
at the front we would have Bottas using the supersoft tyre would set a
1m:19.838 to be quickest by 1.7 seconds. Lance had completed thirty one laps
prior to pitting with three hours of the session completed. Lance would
return to the track still on the soft tyre as we had Bottas coming out on
the ultrasoft tyre and would set a 1m:19.705 to remain fastest. Ricciardo
was now second followed by Vettel, Ericsson, and Lance now fifth. Lance
would pit after a short run with only around forty minutes remaining in the
morning session. Lance would drop to sixth as Palmer moved up to third.
But just as the morning drew to a close Lance would again put his FW40 into
the gravel at Turn four. Up to this point he had completed over fifty laps
in an encouraging morning session. His car would be put on a truck and
returned to the Williams garage. Lucky that there is the lunch break in
which the Williams team can sort out any issues. Which they eventually did
and Lance would return to the track for the afternoon session. During the
afternoon Lance would continue putting in laps switching to the medium tyre.
There were several red flags during the afternoon but Lance would continue
and by half way through the afternoon he had completed ninety seven laps.
But his afternoon run would be halted when he would spin at Turn five and
would hit the outside wall damaging the FW40. Again his car would be
returned to the pits but there would be no further running for the Canadian
as the team assessed the damage to the front wing and suspension.
Lance would finish the day in ninth with a best time of 1m:22.351. Despite
the off-track moments it was a productive day in what was his first full day
of testing for the Williams team. It would appear that the Williams team may
not be able to run on the final day of their four day test. The team is
reported to be short of spare parts and as the front wing was damaged
previously they may not be in a position to get it repaired.
"There was a bit of damage to the left hand side of the car - and we are
having a look at it," Williams performance chief Rob Smedley said. "I cannot
make a full judgement call on it, as to how much has been damaged and what
the contingency will be from this point onwards until we have a little bit
of time and think about it.
"There is a question mark [about running on Thursday] but we will be doing
our utmost to get out. It is a really important day for testing.
"Today we had a good day learning about the car - and obviously we are
desperate to continue that for tomorrow onwards. "So our aim is to get the
car out." Smedley would also not get drawn into criticising the rookie.
Smedley said he "wouldn't even call it a mistake", instead citing tyre
characteristics for the final incident. "Both drivers have talked a lot
about when these tyres," he said.
"They are good to lean on them, but there is a certain point where they
become very tricky.
"Lance was out on cold tyres, on a cold medium tyre, on an out lap with a
lot of fuel in the car, and the tyre stepped away from him.
"He was an innocent victim of that happening and what should have been an
innocuous sideways moment brought him around into the barrier and did some
"That happens and we expect it to happen there is no blame on his part."
Rob Smedley, Head of Performance Engineering: We’ve had a good day,
learning about the car while also doing aerodynamic and mechanical testing.
We’re still in the early stages, but things are looking promising and it’s
been a good boost for the team to get some significant mileage under the
belt. Unfortunately, Lance was an innocent victim today when he was caught
out by cold tyres at the end of the session. The incident caused some damage
and as a result we missed the final hour of running. The tyres being a
little bit snappy has been something that both Felipe and Lance have
commented on so I guess we’re all just acclimatising to them. We will
thoroughly investigate how we as a team can help the drivers in this
situation. Lance, however, has acclimatised well during his first day. It’s
his first full day of F1 testing with the FW40 and we are comfortable with
the progress he is making.
Lance Stroll: It was a good day. We covered nearly a 100 laps and I
was getting used to the car producing good short and long runs.
Unfortunately, we had the incident at the end which prematurely stopped our
running. It was still a good day - the team is happy and I am happy with the
way it went with the car, and everybody is still positive. It was
unfortunate what happened at the end but things like that happen and you
have just got to move forward and make the best of it.
Driver Team Time Laps
1 V. Bottas Mercedes 1m19.705s 75 2 S. Vettel Ferrari 1m19.952s 139 3 D. Ricciardo Red Bull Racing 1m21.153s 70 4 J. Palmer Renault Sport F1 1m21.396s 51 5 N. Hulkenberg Renault Sport F1 1m21.791s 42 6 M. Ericsson Sauber F1 Team 1m21.824s 126 7 L. Hamilton Mercedes 1m22.090s 95 8 R. Grosjean Haas F1 Team 1m22.118s 56 9 L. Stroll Williams Martini 1m22.351s 98 10 F. Alonso McLaren 1m22.598s 72 11 C. Sainz Toro Rosso 1m23.540s 32 12 A. Celis Force India F1 Team 1m23.568s 71 13 D. Kvyat Toro Rosso 1m23.952s 31
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