Barcelona Test #1 2020 – Day One

George Russell (GBR) Williams Racing FW43. Formula One Testing, Day 1, Wednesday 19th February 2020. Barcelona, Spain.

Claire Williams, Deputy Team Principal: Today was just the beginning of our 2020 campaign, but we feel we’ve made a good start. Being the first car out on track this morning may not win us any prizes, but it was a clear statement of intent and lays to rest some of the ghosts of last year. The rest of the day was executed pretty much perfectly, despite the packed programme. We clocked up some considerable mileage without any issues and the team will now work through the gathered data in preparation for tomorrow. It is so nice to see the team back in action, everyone at Williams does such a great job and they have worked hard today. My enormous thanks to everyone in the team, both here and at the factory for the huge amount of effort that has gone into getting the car ready for day one of testing. I look forward to seeing where we finish at the end of day six.

Dave Robson, Head of Vehicle Performance: A very promising start to the 2020 season for the team. George was the first car on track this morning and spent the opening few hours collecting aero data in several different configurations. By mid-morning we were completing longer runs on different tyre compounds as we begin to understand the main characteristics of the FW43. Following a successful morning session, George ended his running, allowing Nicholas to take over for the afternoon. Nicholas completed a further sequence of longer new tyre runs, building on the work started by George this morning. In the evening we took the opportunity to collect another round of aero data. Overall, it has been a very encouraging day of reliable running of the FW43, which has been made possible by the hard work and collective effort of everyone at the track and back in Grove.

George Russell: I was happy with this morning’s running, completing 73 laps, and the feeling was positive. We had an intense programme planned, and it was important to get out from the beginning so that we could get back into the pits first and get on with the day. The general handling of the car is much better, and from lap one I had confidence to push the car to the limit. The FW43 is an improvement on last year, the lap times are the important thing and we will only know at the end of next week where we are. Overall, it has been a very positive morning, we just need to focus on our programme and get the most out of testing. We are excited for the new season, I am confident that we will be racing this year.

Nicholas Latifi: Overall, it was a very positive first day testing with the team. I can definitely feel that the car has taken a step forward from last year, so thanks to the team for their hard work over the winter. We just have to keep plugging away each day and learn how the car reacts and see if we can find some more performance. All in all, I’m very pleased with the first day of running.

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