McLaren Honda Formula 1 Team’s second day of testing was interrupted only by the designated lunch break, as the Woking-based outfit enjoyed a much-needed trouble-free final day.
McLaren suffered a premature halt to testing on the first day, reminiscent of their fortunes out on track during a race weekend. But day two was much kinder and allowed them to complete their entire testing programme without any unscheduled interruptions.
Stoffel Vandoorne was out on track as soon as the green light signalled a start to proceedings and managed a total of 56 laps before stopping for well-earned sustenance.
It was during this time that McLaren undertook planned set-up changes to the car in order to complete a different series of tests in the afternoon. This delayed their restart until 4.00pm but the final two hours proved fruitful and brought the total number of laps up to 81.
Vandoorne was vocal in stating that today was the first reliable day that the team has enjoyed this season and it has helped make up for the time lost in Barcelona during pre-season testing.
“Today has probably been our best day this season so far,” he said. “It’s the first time that we’ve had a day without any big problems, where we could actually get on with our programme.
“I think we completed everything we wanted to do today, and we went through a lot of set-up stuff that we didn’t manage to do in Barcelona.
“It’s been a very productive day and I’m very happy that we’ve been able to do so many laps.”
Despite this success, Vandoorne is well aware that this reliability could prove short-lived despite the team doing all that they can to prolong it.
“Today was really good, but we need every day to be this good, and there are no guarantees that it will be like this next time,” he continued. “We need to learn very carefully from what we’ve done today, and hopefully carry that forward to the next event and see some improvements.
“The key is to be able to have a weekend where everything runs smoothly, which we haven’t been able to do yet. If we can do that, hopefully we can show we are making progress.”
The programme put a number of different set-ups and parts through their paces, hopefully identifying suitable additions for future grand prix.
“It’s been very good for both me and the team to be able to try a number of different directions with the set-up,” he said.
“There were some new bits on the car – quite fundamental things – that we wanted to try out, and learn about, so it’s been really useful to see where the performance comes from, and very productive.
“The chassis is behaving well, and we’ll bring some more new bits to the car over the next few races.
“We just need to keep working hard and wait for the moment when everything falls together.”