Teams’ reactions after the Barcelona shakedown testing

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The so called shakedown testing in Barcelona has brought the F1 community roaring back to life, as the spectacular new generation of the 2022 F1 cars hit the track for the very first time. F1Technical’s Balázs Szabó reports from the Barcelona paddock.

The F1 field ended the first stage of its preparation for the forthcoming season with Barcelona hosting the first location of the pre-season testing. Officially, the Barcelona preparation was called shakedown test as the official pre-season test will take place in Bahrain in two weeks’ time.

The sport feared that the revolutionary new cars would prove unreliable hence the official title of shakedown test, but the machines proved to be much more robust than previously anticipated. Interestingly, the first two days went by without lengthy interruption with only Day 3 proving more challenging.


Nicholas Latifi: "Today's running was slightly more disrupted than the first two days with a number of red flags in the morning. However, none were caused by us and we still gained some good learning, especially as we got to experience the intermediate tyres in the afternoon which was valuable.

"Overall, I think it has been a productive pre-season session in Barcelona. We have had a few minor issues here and there but that is par of the course with a new car as it’s a new learning for both the drivers and the team. It’s an exciting time and I’m looking forward to going to Bahrain now and building on everything we’ve learned from this week."

Alex Albon: We got some really good mileage in today and managed to maximise the limited testing time we have before the first race of the year. Overall, the team have had a very successful few days in Barcelona; the car has been reliable and so we’ve done well to build a very good foundation to work from."

"It’s still early days and we can’t read too much into lap times, but I think we should be very pleased with how these sessions have gone and I’m looking forward to getting back out in the car in Bahrain.

Red Bull

Max Verstappen: "Everything worked well in the running we got and the car felt good, but our morning was somewhat interrupted by a number of red flags across the session so we couldn’t complete all of our planned programme. We just continued from what I did on day one and I think that was the most important objective for Barcelona. What is positive is that the car is running smoothly, I don’t pay attention to the lap times just yet, I will look into that when we get into Q3 in Bahrain.

"I just focus on doing a lot of laps and nailing down every single aspect of the car. I have really enjoyed driving the RB18 this week, it has a nice stable balance and I think it looks cool as well so it’s good to jump into. I think following does seem a little easier in these cars, of course we won’t know if there is any real change until race one when everyone is on the same tyres and fuel, but my initial thoughts are that I do think it’s a step forward.”

Sergio Perez: "“I think we have a good baseline and good potential. It is obviously early days, but I am really hopeful we will make some good steps before Bahrain and keep progressing with all the information we are going to gather from Barcelona.

"It is important to keep learning from my driving and the way I am adapting to the car and my team and then what the best way will be to maximise that. I think this season the challenge will be about maximising the whole weekend under the new regulations.”"


Scuderia Ferrari has completed the first three days of pre-season testing at Spain’s Barcelona-Catalunya Circuit. The F1-75 completed a total of 439 laps, or 2052 kilometres, the most of any of the cars on track, with Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz both driving on all days.

Laurent Mekies, Racing Director: "Overall, this has been a solid test session for us as we completed many laps. We got through most of our programme, which was based around three key elements: firstly to get an initial read on reliability, hence our primary focus on the number of laps completed; secondly to map several parameters of our car, from aero performance to tyre performance, to vehicle dynamics performance. We have a long list of scans to work through and we got through a fair number of them over these three days.

"Last but not least, it was important to give our drivers sufficient laps to familiarise themselves with what is a completely new car. It calls for a different driving style and a different approach to the various racing conditions. We did this with both drivers, sharing the workload across the three days. It was also good for the race team to be back at the track. For them, it was a useful warm-up before what will be a long and intense season, getting used to procedures such as the pit stops and, for the various crews that make up the team, to all be back working together again and interacting well with our drivers.

"We still have a lot of work ahead of us and we can expect an intense fight, so everyone has many items on their job list now. Our thanks must go to everyone back at the factory, who have worked so hard over the past few months to ensure we arrived at the race track well prepared. It’s only the first step of a long year, when we intend to push very hard, working all together."

Aston Martin

Lance Stroll: “It was a shame not to complete any laps this afternoon but it has been great to be back behind the wheel of a Formula One car. We have already learned a lot about the AMR22, which is important because the cars are so different this year. It is a whole new philosophy to understand so we are working through how these cars like to be set up and driven.

"We are on a big learning curve now, like all the teams, and the goal is to continue to make progress in Bahrain in the next test, and we will still be doing so in the early races too.”

Sebastian Vettel: “It has been a useful few days and we have learned a lot about the AMR22, although we, like all the other teams, still have a lot more to learn considering that we are all dealing with a brand-new generation of Formula One cars.

"Even so, my first impression of the AMR22 has been relatively positive, so I am really looking forward to working with the team to take further forward steps in Bahrain. It was a shame to end the day with an issue, but we have completed many laps, so we can be happy with our work this week.”

Alfa Romeo

The Hinwil based outfit brought the first pre-season test to a close as Zhou Guanyu and Valtteri Bottas shared the car in Barcelona. The team continued its journey of understanding of the C42 in what was the final outing of the car in a camouflage livery, ahead of the official launch on Sunday 27th.

Zhou Guanyu: “It was a positive day, with quite a bit of running and some good indications until nearly the end of the session. I was able to run with the C3 compound, but unfortunately a spin and a small hydraulic leak meant I couldn’t try the C4 tyres.

"It’s only testing and we can’t really compare what we are doing against the other teams, but the feeling is that we are going in the right direction. The most important thing is to work together as a team to make sure we take a step forward ahead of testing in Bahrain.”

Valtteri Bottas: “The team has made good progress with the C42, even though I wasn’t able to get all the running I would have liked. A few technical issues stopped us in the afternoon, but the data we collected during the morning session will allow us to keep working and developing the car.

"Our focus switches to making the most of the time between now and the Bahrain test, and maximising our mileage when we get there. I am confident we can make up the time we lost and be fully ready for the season ahead.”


Having set a combined total of 108 laps on Thursday in Spain, the final day of testing at the Circuit de Barcelona - Catalunya concluded on Friday with Haas F1 Team limited to just 9 laps set by Nikita Mazepin in the morning session. An oil system issue prevented Mazepin from adding to his tally and stopped Mick Schumacher from running at all – the VF-22 parked in the garage for the remainder of the day.

Guenther Steiner: “Today we could unfortunately only do nine laps – we had an issue with the oil system in the engine. There was a leak that we couldn’t sort over the day, so we didn’t do a lot of running. About the rest of the test – the first day was a little bit clumsy, I would say, but we learned enough that on the second day we were well prepared.

"The second day was actually pretty good, we learned a lot, if you think we had three days of testing but really we only managed one. I think we made good progress. Now we have to get prepared for Bahrain. We have information – we know what to do and we will get it done. Hopefully in Bahrain we don’t have any gremlins.”


Pierre Gasly: “It’s been a productive test and I think it’s been very interesting for everyone to see how these new cars behave on track. We’ve learnt a lot, every run, about our car and also driving wise I’ve been able to develop how to work with this new car and get the most out of it. I think it’s been really good.

"Obviously, you can’t really look at any sort of performance at the moment, so this test has really been about focusing on myself and trying to get good feedback so the team can understand what you need from the car as a driver, to find more performance. I must say, it feels quite different to drive these cars – it obviously is visually but also how it responds too, even the way you get into the corner and braking. I’ve been trying a variety of things and fine-tuning my driving to work with the car balance that we have, this is all part of the learning process.

"Unfortunately, I locked up my tyres during the morning running and damaged the car, but testing is about finding the limits and we’ve still been able to gather a lot of valuable data over the three days. This is of course only the first test, and we have a lot to analyse before the three more days of testing in Bahrain.”

Yuki Tsunoda: “It’s been a good three days of testing here in Barcelona, it’s been really productive, and we’ve learnt a lot about the new car. I’ve been really excited to get back driving since Abu Dhabi, especially knowing that it’s a whole new car, and I’ve really enjoyed my time getting to know the AT03.

"There’s still a lot to do ahead of the next test in Bahrain, from my side I need to make some more adaptions to my driving style to suit this new car but overall, it’s been a really positive test. It’s a shame that I wasn’t able to complete the afternoon session today but it’s testing, and these things happen. We’ve still got three days in Bahrain before the first race, so we need to prepare as much as possible ahead of this so that we can start the season off well.”


George Russell was out first in the W13 on the final day in Barcelona, covering valuable miles and experimenting with the car set-up to further our understanding of the bouncing issue being experienced with this new generation of car. The circuit was wetted at lunchtime via tanker, offering Lewis Hamilton the chance to run the Intermediate tyre before moving to a dry set-up to perform a tyre sweep from the C3 to C5 compounds.

Lewis Hamilton: "It’s been an interesting few days, it’s not been the easiest or smoothest running – we have some obstacles to overcome. We’d always want more laps but I’m happy with today’s running, I got almost 100 laps in today which for half a day’s running, isn’t too bad. The car is a lot different to drive than in previous years, as are the tyres, but we’re working our way through our programme.

The whole team have done an amazing job this week, the men and women back at the factory have worked so hard, we’ve got a lot of data to go through from these three days and we’ll just put one foot in front of the other and put in the work. It was good to get a feel for the different tyre compounds but you never know where you are compared to the other teams on the first days of running."

George Russell: "The three days in Barcelona have been incredibly intriguing. I don’t think the lap times are very representative at all, we were top of the timesheets today on the C5 compound which is incredibly strong around Barcelona, but I wouldn’t read much into it.

"The Ferrari and McLaren look strong and I think we’ve got lots of improvements to make, we’re not fully happy with the balance of the car and the other limitations we have currently. But it is only testing, we’re here to learn and we have made some important experiments this week and have a good idea of the direction we need to go in."


The star team of the opening day McLaren continued its diligent work on Day 3 of the Barcelona shakedown test. In the morning, Lando Norris clocked a 1m20.827s to finish in P11, racking up a total of 52 laps. In the afternoon, the Briton handed over his MCL36 to Daniel RIcciardo, who was the first to discover the damp surface of the Barcelona-Catalunya track, and completed an eye-catching 86 laps in total, adding to McLaren's high mileage of the three-day test programme.

Lando Norris: “It’s been a good week and start to the year. Many things have gone well. Of course, a couple of problems here and there but we’ve got through a lot of our test programmes, and we’ve understood the car more. As a driver, I’ve been able to get comfortable with the car nice and quickly. Our focus now moves onto learning and reviewing everything we put together and tested, to try to make progress going into Bahrain, and make sure we’re ready for the first race of the season.

“A massive thanks to the team for getting the car ready. I don’t think we’ve had as many problems as a lot of other teams. We’ve had a reliable car and a good car so far that has given me the confidence, so all the hard work is paying off at the minute. We need to keep it up and keep pushing.”

Daniel Ricciardo: “It was good to get a little bit of wet running, there was quite a lot to learn from that. We then got into a different programme to yesterday where we racked up plenty of laps, which was really productive. Now it’s about giving that information back to the team and trying to build on this positive start.

“I think we’re in a good spot, but there’s always something to work on and improve. So, we’ll give the team some data to work with and some areas of work to do, I'll focus on what I can keep doing better. Overall, a pretty flawless three days for the team, a really awesome start to the season. Thanks to everyone back at MTC for putting the hard work in over the winter to put us in this position.”