McLaren-Honda enjoyed a more fruitful and productive day of running on track at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya on Wednesday. The team was able to work through a number of set-up configurations, and completed various aero correlation tests using rakes and flow-vis paint.
Despite a cold start to the morning, track temperatures increased during the course of the day, enabling the team to carry out its scheduled run plan, although the wind picked up across the circuit during the afternoon.
“The most important thing we can take from today is that we were able to do many more laps than both Stoffel and I could complete on our first days in the car", said Fernando Alonso.
"I’m happy that we were able to push through our plan for the day, gather a lot of new information, and learn a lot about the car, which is very positive after the issues we faced earlier in the week.
“The car feels good, and we’ve already made a lot of tweaks to the handling and set-up of the car from the first day. So far, the car is responding well to our changes, and overall we are seeing small improvements here and there, day-by-day, in different areas.
“The team worked really hard today to make sure we completed a lot of work on our programme, and we covered a lot of ground, testing different elements and working on various set-up configurations. It’s definitely been a valuable day for us.”
Racing Director Eric Boullier chimed in with these feelings, conceding that Wednesday was indeed a much needed day of reliable running.
“Today has been a much more successful day", he said. "We’re happy that we’ve been able to execute our testing programme proper with a full day of running. I’m pleased to report that there were no major issues, and the team completed our planned run programme for the day.
“We’re confident that the issues we’ve experienced so far are glitches and part of the usual challenges faced in testing. The problems on Monday and Tuesday meant we lost valuable track time, which means glitches that occur in day one can then spread into day three, simply because of the lack of mileage.
“The more we run, the more we learn, and, naturally, the more there is potential for issues to be discovered that we need to fix. However, there is a minimum mileage figure that we can do that allows us enough data to understand the car and how to set it up, and from there we can move forward.
“While we shouldn’t get carried away, today’s running has provided the team with a boost after a tricky couple of days, and I hope we continue collecting more mileage and data tomorrow to end the first week.”
On the engine side, Honda were the source of the issues on Monday and Tuesday, and are hence relieved to be able to have a day without problems.
“The past two days have been difficult for us due to the power unit issues we encountered", said Yusuke Hasegawa, Honda R&D Co. Ltd Head of F1 Project & Executive Chief Engineer.
"However, today we were able to make some progress and complete our programme, in which we tested the durability and deployment of the PU in accordance with our schedule.
“We have already found a solution to the oil tank issue we had on the first day with Fernando, and we will shortly receive clarification from Honda R&D in Sakura on the root cause of the power failure experienced in Stoffel’s car yesterday. We proved certain durability in today’s session and we hope to make further advances together with McLaren tomorrow.”