A productive and valuable day of running for the whole McLaren team on the penultimate day of the final pre-season Formula 1 test at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.
In the morning session, Stoffel Vandoorne completed 48 laps, focusing on set-up work, aero development and setting changes to arm the team with as much information as possible about the behaviour of the new MCL33 package.
After lunch, and a few more development runs, the team performed a full race simulation – made even more realistic by a brief interruption from a red flag – and concluded the day having run a full and comprehensive test programme.
Stoffel completed 151 laps and set the sixth-fastest time of the day.
Stoffel Vandoorne: “Today was a very positive day for us and we completed a lot of laps. This morning was good – we went through a lot of set-up work, understanding about the tyre compounds, and did a lot of learning that we’d missed at the start of this week and also last week because of the bad weather conditions. This afternoon we completed a full race distance, which went smoothly and was good to get under our belt, to get a feel for the car in race conditions, and go through the different tyre variations. The feeling in the car from the beginning has been very positive, and today’s running has confirmed that feeling. Obviously, there are a few areas we know we need to work on, and our car in Melbourne will be quite different as there are a lot of updates coming. It’s important now that everything we’ve learned here we carry forward. Today was very productive and it gives us the confidence to go to Melbourne with a strong package. It was also my last day in the car and now I’m looking forward to going racing. I feel 100 per cent ready.”
Eric Boullier, Racing Director: “Today was a very positive day for the whole team. We completed a significant amount of mileage and also achieved a solid amount of work on our test programme ‘wish-list’. As we near the end of our allocated eight test days, it’s very satisfying that we were able to turn our attention to race simulations and longer runs, which all help towards preparing our package as comprehensively as possible ahead of the first race of the season and beyond. We also completed a number of further useful development and correlation tests which have been a very valuable portion of our test programme today. We’re still learning a lot, and every lap we do is extra useful data for our armoury. Now we hope to round off the test with a positive final day tomorrow for Fernando and complete our pre-season preparations before Melbourne.”
Fernando returns to the cockpit tomorrow for the last of eight days of pre-season testing.