McLaren Honda Formula 1 Team Test and Development Driver Oliver Turvey believes the first day of testing in Bahrain was beneficial for the team, despite the lack of running.
Having not taken part in testing for two years, Turvey was like an excited child at Christmas to get back into the car, and so was frustrated when after just two laps of running the MCL32 ground to a halt.
A water leak issue with the ERS, similar to the failure suffered by Stoffel Vandoorne at last weekend’s Bahrain Grand Prix, which forced the Belgian driver to abort the race, was deemed the culprit.
“I’ve been looking forward to getting back in the car – it’s been two years since I last tested – so I’m really grateful to McLaren-Honda for giving me the opportunity to drive here in Bahrain.
“It’s frustrating to have had an issue this morning which cost us a lot of track time, but, for me, every lap in a Formula 1 car is beneficial and it was great to be back in the car.”
The engineers were able to rectify the issue prior to the session end, and Turvey completed fifteen useful laps, the data from which will be analysed back at the factory, whilst the Brit will feedback how driving the car on track compared to working in the simulator.
“I got a few laps in at the end of the day and managed to get enough of a feel for what the car is like to be able to go back to MTC and contribute to the correlation between the car and simulator, which hopefully will help with the development back in the factory.
“I do a lot of work in the simulator so being able to correlate between there and the track is really important. I still feel we achieved something today despite the limited running.”
Speaking in terms of how this year’s F1 car compares to those he has previously driven, Turvey advised that the 2017 machine seems much faster, and more fun to drive.
“I’ve been training hard for the last three months in preparation for this test, and I knew the physicality of the new cars would be a step up from the last time I drove, so I felt ready.
“The high-speed corners felt very quick and the downforce level feels a lot higher than I remember, so I think it’s definitely a more enjoyable car to drive this year.”