February 4th, 2014 (F1plus/J. Leslie).- Team principal Monisha Kaltenborn shared her views on last week's opening pre-season test in Jerez, as well as revealing plans for the not-too-distant future.
The 42-year-old admitted that the new Ferrari-powered C33 was ready "just in time" for the first test in southern Spain, adding: "The fact that the C33 functioned from the first day on track is a remarkable achievement by the team."
She was "satisfied" by the mileage gained by the team, with race drivers Esteban Gutierrez and Adrian Sutil completing a total of 163 laps of the Jerez circuit, and said the goals set were achieved.
"We wanted to see if the mechanics and all the systems are working," she said. "The cars are very complex this year because of the new power unit, but, as a matter of fact, we have reached a good level already.
"Of course, it was also important to gather a lot of data. We have a lot of work to do, analysing the data and implementing the improvements."
Discussing lap times, she added: "It’s very difficult to judge the lap times, because every team ran a different programme, including different fuel loads. The tyres were another important factor to consider. Both our drivers struggled to get temperature into the tyres. And it certainly didn’t help them that we only had a provisional aero package with limited downforce on the car.
"However, this didn’t come as a surprise to us. We know what to expect. It was our top priority to be ready from the first day of testing, so to be able to drive and collect as much data as possible.”
However, both drivers struggled with the brake-by-wire system during the four-day event. "Not only the drivers, also the engineers were not happy about it," Kaltenborn said. "This was a software issue in the first place. We were able to make improvements throughout the test, but there is still room for improvement.
"However, our engineers are convinced that they have enough time to solve those weaknesses together with our engine partner by the next test."
Speaking of the next test, a considerable aerodynamic upgrade will be taken to Bahrain: "Fundamentally it’s a very extensive package. We plan to have most of the parts on the car for the first test in Bahrain. This includes new front and rear wings, side pod deflectors, as well as several other small elements on the car. A few other parts will follow for the second test in Bahrain."