2020 Pre-Season Testing – Week 2, Day 1
The Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya is one of the better-known tracks for drivers. Year on year of winter testing gives the men behind the steering wheel a unique intimacy with this circuit: there is no corner unknown, no inch of tarmac unexplored. There’s no silver bullet for this place; no secret trick to be quick. It is a place that rewards hard work.
Hard work is indeed what the team did today. 104 laps, split between Robert Kubica in the morning and Kimi Räikkönen in the afternoon, yielded another load of data for our engineers. Plenty of numbers to crunch, heaps of readings to analyse and comb through in search of a finer understanding of our new C39. Pre-season may still feel new, but it’s just two more days of work before we head to Australia – and we’ll need to make them count to discover everything our new contender has to offer.
This track may be the most known quantity in Formula One, but the machine our drivers are asked to tame is still unexplored land. Time for hard work indeed.
Frédéric Vasseur, Team Principal Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN and CEO Sauber Motorsport AG: “We had a split day, with Robert in the car this morning and Kimi in the afternoon, so we divided our programme into two very distinct parts. We are satisfied with both – we are making progress with our C39 in the quali runs and the longer stints alike. We have two more days in the car with Antonio and Kimi, the final outings for each of them ahead of Melbourne, so maximising our time on track in the rest of the week will be key to our preparedness for the season.”
Robert Kubica (car #88): “It has been a positive morning in the car for me. Times don’t matter – P1 or P20, what really counts is finishing the day having completed your testing programme, and we did that. The car felt better compared to last week, we already did a few tweaks and I could feel the improvement. We have a lot of data to go through to fully understand their effect, and two more days to get an even better level of confidence in the car. We know what we have to do.”
Kimi Räikkönen (car #7): “It has been a challenging session, but this is quite to be expected during testing. We focused mostly on long runs and trying different setup options, which means the team had to learn how best to prepare the car. In the end, we can be fairly satisfied with our long run pace, although we know there is still a lot of work ahead of us before Melbourne.”
Circuit: Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya / 4.655 km
Driver: Robert Kubica (AM) / Kimi Räikkönen (PM)
Weather: sunny and dry; air 11-20°C, track 17-30°C
Chassis / engine: Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN C39-02 / Ferrari
Laps: 104 laps (53 KUB; 51 RAI), 404.12 km
Fastest lap: 1:16.942 (KUB); 1:19.515 (RAI)