Today marks a second successful day of running at FIA Formula 1 pre-season testing on the Bahrain International Circuit for Scuderia AlphaTauri, whose combined lap total across the two days stands at 255 (1,380.06 km). Following last night’s sandstorm, conditions remained variable and high wind speed played an important role in the day, making running particularly difficult in the morning session for Yuki Tsunoda.
Aiming to rack up important mileage during the session, ahead of the opening round here in Bahrain on 28th March, Yuki managed to complete over 300km of running – on a mixture of tyre compounds – ahead of the lunchbreak. Meanwhile, Pierre Gasly headed out in the afternoon, spending the first half of the session on longer runs before putting in a strong stint on the soft tyre to finish the day in second place.
Tomorrow the team will conclude the final of three days of pre-season testing, with Pierre running in the morning and Yuki heading out in the afternoon for the final session.
Pierre Gasly #10 Time: 1:30.413 87 laps – 470.844 km Pos. 2nd
“It’s been another really positive day for me, with a lot of laps done this afternoon. We managed to complete all the high-fuel running that we wanted to at the start of the session and then some performance runs towards the end, with the softer compound. I feel really good in the car, especially compared to this time last year, so it’s really positive for me. There are obviously places we still need to improve upon, but I think we’re in a good place with one day left of running at this test. The Honda Power Unit is working really well so far and we haven’t had any reliability issues which is great – I’m excited to get it out on track for the race. With only three days of testing – split between two drivers – I knew it would be difficult but considering how many laps we’ve been able to complete so far I’m feeling quite comfortable with the car ahead of the Bahrain Grand Prix.”
Yuki Tsunoda #22 Time: 1:32.684 57 laps – 308.484 km Pos. 11th
“I think for me on the driving side things are definitely improving each time I go out. The weather again today has been an issue, particularly with the changes in wind direction, so it’s definitely been a big learning curve. I’m really starting to understand the car and how it reacts with different tyre compounds now – my performance isn’t perfect yet but I’m happy with how the test is going from my side. I’m also getting more confident in high speed corners, as I continue to understand the downforce levels of the car more with each run we do. It’s good learning for the team, and also for myself, so hopefully we can put it all together tomorrow.”
Jonathan Eddolls (Chief Race Engineer)
“Overall, we had a very productive day of testing today and were able to recover the lost kilometres from yesterday afternoon. Yuki was on duty in the morning session, which started with a very dusty track from the high overnight winds, but this didn’t impact the aero running we did with him during the first couple of hours. We then got into a block of mechanical setup items before closing the morning with his first experience of the new soft compound. He performed well and is in a good position for his last half day of testing tomorrow, before the first race. We swapped to Pierre for the afternoon and had a mixed plan of long runs and performance runs, again trying to learn about the 2021 tyres and how best to optimise the car for them.
We found some interesting directions to analyse tonight and then we can explore these tomorrow. I’m happy with the progress we’ve made today, as we’ve been able to complete our plan and cover 144 laps across the two drivers. We still have some work to do tomorrow but we’re on plan to complete all our testing items and be in a good shape ahead of the start of the season.”