Nick Heidfeld got his first taste of the R31 today in Jerez and ended session at the top of the timesheets.
Fastest Lap: 1:20.361
Total laps: 86
What we learned today:
– The team evaluated a new floor upgrade. Pressure tapping and flow viz paint allowed the engineers to verify its aero characteristics.
– The team ran back-to-back tests on all four Pirelli tyre compounds for the first time. This confirmed the different degradation rates and variations in new tyre performance.
Nick: “I really enjoyed the day. It was fun driving the car, although it obviously takes time to get used to things when it’s your first time in a car and working with a new team. We had a good day, without too many problems, and luckily all the changes we made to the car went in the right direction and improved things, so I was able to push harder and harder. In terms of the lap times, it’s very difficult for me to compare with the other teams because we don’t know the fuel levels or what the others were doing. My first impressions of the car were positive, although there are always areas where you can improve.”
Eric Boullier: “Today we had the chance to give Nick time in the car and we carried out a big evaluation. Our first feelings are very positive: he worked well with the team, gave good feedback and improved the car during the day. We managed to cover 86 laps and the times are encouraging, which is also thanks to Robert and Vitaly’s early feedback and the hard work of everybody in the team.”
Alan Permane’s technical programme notes
– The day was based around getting Nick comfortable in the car and giving him as much mileage as possible. He adapted to the car and the systems quickly.
– We played around with the set-up early on and changed a few things during the day – this included the weight distribution and the toes and cambers for the Pirelli tyres.
– Unfortunately the afternoon was disrupted by several red flags, so we were not able to complete the long runs we had planned.
Did You Know?
The rules on adjustable rear wings allow the flap to rotate away from the main plane up to a maximum distance of 50mm