The fifth day of the preseason tests has come to its over as Sebastian Vettel keeps the fastest time with a 1:16.841 with a retired Lewis Hamilton after having an issue with his power unit. Since the beginning of the tests, Mercedes hasn’t been on its best moment with their power unit, as it doesn’t give them the power they want. Before today’s incident, Mercedes had already replaced their power unit once and maybe they will need to change it for a second time. Here are some of the drivers’ quotes after today’s session.
Lewis Hamilton. Mercedes. #44
“I only got 14 laps in today, but during those 14 laps, everything was feeling fine. It’s obviously not ideal that we didn’t get a full day of running in and we experienced this issue, but there are lots of learning to take from today. Rather than looking at the negatives, we’ve discovered some things we need to work on, and we’ll keep pushing hard to resolve them and keep working away.”
The British driver seems to be pretty happy despite this issue. He prefers looking at the good things rather than the negative ones. Is it a worrying thing? We don’t know but, statistically speaking, the Mercedes engines don’t usually blow up or have any failures.
Valtteri Bottas. Mercedes. #77
“Obviously, the running today in the morning was slightly limited with the wet weather. But we god a couple of runs in with the intermediate tyre, which is always useful. We had a good feeling on that tyre in those conditions and gathered some good information. We missed some of the test items we planned to do.”
Let’s remember that in the morning, the track was wet due to a previous rain. The team reacted quickly, and everyone took advantage of that. All of the teams gathered information about how the car feels and behaves in wet conditions.
Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing. #33
“It was a bit of a shame with the weather, so we could not really run as much as we wanted, but overall it was positive. We spent time driving with the aero rakes, gathering all the data we could and everything went well. Everyday we are improving, learning more, and that’s exactly what we want from testing.”
Some people say that the Dutchman and the Austrian team will be the closer threat to Mercedes, as Ferrari doesn’t look very strong.
Alex Albon, Red Bull Racing, #23.
“This afternoon was a little disrupted, mostly because of the wind, which was tricky, and it was hard to get a good read on balance, but otherwise it wasn’t too bad today. Everything’s going well, but of course we need to look at the data as it was not so easy to do direct comparison today.”
The Red Bull boys look very happy with their pace, reliability, power unit, team, etc. If the spirit is still high in Melbourne, we could be surprised by them.
Sebastian Vettel. Ferrari. #5
“We can feel the car is better, I think sector 3 feels better. We also know that it does come with a trade. We still have some work to do, we are slower than we want down the straights because we are a bit draggy.”
The German doesn’t look very convinced, but he admits that Ferrari were even slower at the beginning of the tests. Tomorrow will be the last day of preseason and it will be the last chance for the teams to gather more information and to prepare their car before Melbourne.