AlphaTauri buoyant after 'fruitful' first test

Daniil Kvyat (RUS) AlphaTauri AT01. 21.02.2020
© XPB 

AlphaTauri drivers Daniil Kvyat and Pierre Gasly were both feeling very positive about their 2020 prospects, after a positive first pre-season test at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.

"It was productive as we squeezed the most out of it, said Kvyat. "We had a lot of high-quality tests and tried to cover as many laps as we could.

"Now we need to analyse everything and work on more tests to be ready for next week.

"The car feels like it’s in the ballpark and we’re still fine-tuning it like everyone else is," the Russian driver continued. "But the initial feeling is we’ve made some progress compared to last year.

"It’s hard to say how much or if it’s enough, but we’re still trying to unlock the full potential of the car, both on short and long runs.”

His enthusiasm was match by that of his team mate, who retuned to the team last summer after an ill-starred stint at sister team Red Bull.

"It was a really positive afternoon," said Gasly after the chequered flag was shown at the end of Friday's session. "I had a few more laps in the car and completed some more tests. We managed to do all of our long run programme.

"Unfortunately, we had a small delay toward the end of the day which meant we couldn’t finish our performance runs, but it wasn’t too big of an issue as it was already covered by Daniil in the morning session.

"All in all, it was a positive three days for the team, there are a lot of things to analyse for next week, so we can find even more performance.”

Daniil Kvyat (RUS) AlphaTauri.

Chief race engineer Jonathan Eddolls elaborated on the reasons behind the 'small delay' that Gasly had experienced in the afternoon.

"Pierre took over the AT01 for the afternoon and planned a number of mechanical and aerodynamic tests over short and long runs," he said.

"Unfortunately, we lost some test time at the end of the day as we had to renew a fixing in the floor. It was a simple part, but time-consuming to repair.

It certainly hadn't taken the gloss off the week's activity as far as team principal Franz Tost was concerned.

"It’s a pity we lost some track time today due to a little issue toward the end of the day," he said. "[But] we had three very fruitful test days here in Barcelona, completing more than 100 laps every day – 384 in total

"[We] learned a lot about the car, but we still have to work on the final setup. However, I think we are going in the right direction which is a good sign.

"We got a good understanding of the new aerodynamics on the car. We also ran a few long runs which meant we could get a clearer picture of tyre wear and degradation.

"The engineers now have a lot of data to analyse to come back well prepared next week for the second test."

AlphaTauri AT01 nosecone. 19.02.2020.

Last season, the then-Toro Rosso squad finished in sixth place in the constructors championship, which saw Kvyat and Gasly clinch podiums in Germany and Brazil respectively.

Tost suggested that the current driver line-up was the best the team had ever had, and capable of clinching even more podiums in 2020.

"Yes, I would underline this," he told's Dieter Rencken. "Kvyat has a fantastic natural speed. He won races, he won championships, remember back in GP3.

"And Pierre Gasly as well, he won races, he won the GP2 championship and he drove last year - in the second half of the season - some fantastic races.

"Just remember his second place in Sao Paolo when he managed to keep Hamilton behind him one lap.

"In general, I must say that Scuderia AlphaTauri seems to be in a good position for the upcoming year.”

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