Following the conclusion of the Barcelona test session, Mercedes and Red Bull have demonstrated the best overall performance. Indeed, the Silver Arrows looked consistent during both the sessions, with Valterri Bottas setting the fastest lap of the preparatory tests at 1m 15.732s last Friday. On the other hand, Red Bull showed a solid pace in the long runs, with Verstappen looking particularly fast during the second day of the third session.
Both the Mercedes and Red Bull duo pointed out that they are satisfied with the current performance. Nevertheless, they added that there is a lot of room for improvement.
In particular, Lewis Hamilton, who reckoned that the new car is one step forward from last year, indicated how the W11 is suffering from some reliability problems.
“We made it through testing! It's crazy how quickly these past two weeks have gone.
“It's been intense, with a huge amount of work from everybody at the track and back home at the factories.
“The car's feeling like a step forward from last year, but it's clear we've still got a few issues we need to iron out ahead of Melbourne.
“I've got total confidence in the team and know they'll be doing everything they can to make sure we arrive in Australia in a good place.
“The start of the new season comes around so quickly and now we go racing in just two weeks' time. I can't wait,” he said.
Similarly, his team-mate, Valterri Bottas emphasized the small issues faced with the W11 and the good feeling he has with the car balance.
“That's it for pre-season testing for another year.
“I think we can be happy that we've made the most of it, only missing out on a few miles to some small issues.
“ I've already got a nice feeling with the car and it's been good to get the chance to get comfortable with the long and short runs, and practice some starts too.
“I feel like we've made a step forward in most areas and it's been a successful test.
“As always we'll be focusing on our own performance and we've got two important weeks coming up now ahead of the first race to put what we've learned from the test into action,” concluded the Finnish Driver.
Despite being far from perfection, Mercedes has appeared as the fastest car in the grid, as claimed by Alexander Albon, who added that Red Bull has obtained good results in the tests session.
“It’s been a really solid and smooth six days of testing.
“We’ve pushed the mileage and completed a lot of laps, testing and experimenting with a lot of development parts and everything is looking good.
“We have a lot of data to look through but we now have more of an understanding of the car and we’ve definitely found some good things, so it’s been a positive test.
“Mercedes are clearly very quick and there’s more to see from Ferrari, so it’s hard to know for sure where everyone stands at this point.
“We’ve been happy with the car since day one and it felt strong from the first lap, but we won’t know where we are until we get to Melbourne.
“I can’t believe it’s already time to go racing, I’m excited and now I can’t wait to get out there.”
Likewise, his team-mate, Max Verstappen, said that the car’s performance, while not being perfect, is satisfactory and affirmed that Mercedes looks quite competitive.
“I definitely feel ready for Melbourne and the last two weeks have been a good preparation.
“We tried everything we wanted to over the six days which is very important from our side, so I’m happy with that.
“Overall, I can’t complain but that doesn’t mean we should stop the hard work and there are always things to improve.
“No car is ever perfect, especially at this stage in the season, so we will keep pushing to make improvements.
“Me and Alex had a few moments but I’m not worried and I want to find the limit of the car in testing instead of at the first race.
“It’s better this way rather than being caught out and realizing there is more pace in the car in Melbourne.
“Mercedes also look very fast as expected but I don’t really look too much at them as nobody knows exactly what they are doing, so it’s better to focus on ourselves.
“Overall I think the pace looks pretty good, it’s been a positive start and I hope it’s enough to be competitive in Melbourne.”