Team McLaren Mercedes conducted the first shakedown of its 2006 car, the MP4-21, at the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona today. Pedro de la Rosa drove the new car, completing 19 laps of the Spanish circuit and covering 90kms in total. The MP4-21 was not meant to make its track debut until tomorrow (Tuesday) but the team decided to undertake a short shakedown today.
Work for Pedro and the test team focused on initial systems checks with MP4-21, which started the day's session at 09:15 local time. Pedro completed four single laps during the early part of the day, with the team running checks between each outing. Shortly after midday, Pedro completed one longer run of seven laps, which was followed by another of six. During the latter run, the Spaniard stopped on track as his MP4-21 had sustained a problem with the oil pressure. The team decided to undertake a full check-up following its initial shakedown and as a result the MP4-21 stayed in the garage for most of the afternoon. However early evening Pedro was able to take the MP4-21 for another run.
The planned programme with MP4-21 will continue for the duration of this week’s test in Barcelona, with Juan Pablo Montoya at the wheel tomorrow and Wednesday, with Kimi taking over for Thursday and Friday.
Gary Paffett was also in attendance at Barcelona today, running alongside Pedro in the interim MP4-20. Gary, who set the second fastest time, completed 76 laps and a total of 360kms with work continuing to focus on Michelin tyre development.Pedro de la Rosa
"Today’s first test session with the MP4-21 has provided us with some useful feedback. Unfortunately we had a problem with the oil pressure, which was why I stopped out on track shortly before lunchtime. However this is why we test, to work out any such problems and I think that considering it was a shakedown everything went well."Martin Whitmarsh, CEO Formula One, Team McLaren Mercedes
"The shakedown of the MP4-21 at the Circuit de Catalunya today went well. Initially the track was cold and therefore had a lack of grip, however as it warmed up we were able to start proving the various systems. We have already started to receive meaningful technical feedback, and are now looking forward to continuing the development programme over the next few days. We had the issue with oil pressure before lunch with Pedro, and decided to give the car a thorough check and as a result finished running just before lunch. However both Pedro and the team have been able to gain an indication of the performance and potential of our package.”Norbert Haug, Vice President, Mercedes-Benz Motorsport
"Those were some promising first laps today, and I would like to say thank you to everybody in the team for making this possible on schedule. However the rest of the week will see an intensive programme and will give us first indications of where we are compared to the other teams testing here."