Renault F1 Team brought to a close six days of pre-season testing with Daniel Ricciardo third on the timesheets and Esteban Ocon sixth on the final day at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.
Daniel drove the Renault R.S.20 in the morning session for the final time before the 2020 FIA Formula 1 World Championship season begins in Melbourne, Australia on 15 March.
The Australian recorded his fastest time of pre-season testing with a 1min 16.276secs around the 4.655km course, which proved third-fastest of anybody on the last day in Barcelona.
Esteban concluded testing for the team after taking over driving in the afternoon. Conditions became overcast and cool after lunch as the Frenchman worked through his programme assessing different set-ups on the car. His best time was 0.157secs adrift of Daniel.
Over the six days, the team posted 743 laps – Daniel with 367, Esteban 376 – equivalent to 3,458km or 11 Australian Grands Prix.
Renault engines covered an impressive 7,191km across the two tests underlining a good step in power unit reliability ahead of the year.
Daniel Ricciardo, P3, 1:16.276, 65 laps: “I’m pretty happy with my running today and finishing top of the timesheets in the morning session was a bonus, so it’s a nice way to round-off pre-season testing. But it is testing, so I’m not getting overly excited about it. In the morning we resolved a few issues from yesterday, and looking back at the week as a whole, it has been positive for us. We’ve improved the overall balance of the car, worked through some set-up changes and our reliability has been strong. I believe we’ve cranked up more kilometres on the engine tests back at Viry than we’ve ever had before, so this combined with our results over the two tests are ultimately encouraging signs ahead of the start of the season in Australia.”
Esteban Ocon, P6, 1:16.433, 75 laps: “It was a very decent day and the car felt very strong. We continued on from yesterday in a good direction and the car today felt the best it has over these two weeks, so I’m pretty pleased with that. We did some pit-stop practice towards the end of our running and it was nice to get back into doing that again with the guys performing very consistently. Overall, it was a very positive day and I’m happy with how everything went. It feels good to finish the test with a day like that with lots of laps on the board. There are some areas we need to work on, but I feel ready to go into Melbourne for the first race.”
Cyril Abiteboul, Team Principal, Renault F1 Team:
“Today was the culmination of a smooth and productive pre-season test fortnight, which we leave feeling content with our work. The R.S.20 ran well and pretty much as we expected, courtesy of the progress made by Enstone and Viry over the winter to ensure all parts were delivered to the track to a high standard and in good time. This preparation meant we were well placed to complete all major test items with little fault over the two weeks. We initially concentrated on assessing the main characteristics of our package and determining reliability levels across chassis and engine, before working through different set-up options with some ideas proving interesting and others not.
“We can be very pleased with the reliability of the engine with one power unit being used for each us and our customer, McLaren, throughout the six days. Our absolute performance level is in line with our expectations from the winter gains, a positive sign of the correlation level between our development facilities and the track, something that will be crucial for the very aggressive development plan we have in place. As for our competitiveness level relative to a very competitive midfield, it is right now very difficult to assess, but we look forward to racing again.”
Renault engines total laps: 1,545
Renault engines total KM: 7,191km
The team heads back to its chassis base in Enstone, United Kingdom and Viry-Châtillon, France, to analyse the data and continue striving for improvements to the Renault R.S.20 – R.E.20 package ahead of the first race of the season in Melbourne, Australia, in 16 days’ time.