Formula 1

Progress made by McLaren before more mechanical gremlins strike

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After completing just twelve laps in two days at Jerez, the revived McLaren-Honda partnership were looking for a more positive day on Tuesday, and Fernando Alonso was able to complete 32 laps before an engine issue.

For the first time all test, the MP4/30 was able to run for a good spell, working through some of their planned programme, before Alonso detected the issue with the engine that ultimately curtailed their day early.

Jenson [Button]’s final lap last night made us all feel happier, because we felt we’d cured the issues that had affected us on Sunday and Monday,” said Racing Director Eric Boullier. “This morning, it was a relief to see the car get out of the garage at 9am, and run without problems for several hours.

“Fernando’s comments were very positive, too: he said the car was reacting well to changes, and felt stable. Operationally, we’ve already covered everything in our programme, but what’s even more positive is that we’ve been able to carry out a number of longer runs. They’ve shown us that the car doesn’t have any conceptual or architectural issues.

“It’s good to see that the car is effectively able to run straight out of the box, without any major issues. That’s the most positive point of the day.”

Boullier confirmed that the issues that saw their day ended early were not connected to those that had affected their running on the first two days, and that they are hopeful of an even better and more productive final day in Spain when Jenson Button takes over from Alonso again.

“It was a third-party component that caused a water cooling leak and we had to take the engine off and open everything to change it because it’s in the middle,” added Boullier to Autosport.

“We could have maybe run half an hour at the end, but we decided to stop and do it properly for tomorrow.

“The main issues are now away.”

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Thirty-something motorsport fanatic, covering Formula 1, Formula Renault 2.0 and Formula 3. Feel free to give him a follow on Twitter at @Paul11MSport.
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