McLaren F1 Team had a busy time ahead of the 2021 FIA Formula 1 World Championship, in the official pre-season test. Not only did they have a new driver in Daniel Ricciardo to test, they also have a brand new engine sourced by Mercedes.
Team Principal Andreas Seidl is happy with the testing and how productive it was for the team, even with the test being three days short this season.
Seidl said: “It’s been a productive pre-season test for us in Bahrain. The reduced number of days meant it was crucial to maximise our running time and we’re pleased with the amount of work we’ve been able to complete. Lando’s feedback gave us a good benchmark on the MCL35M compared to our previous car, while Daniel was able to get more familiar with the car and provide useful data and insight for the engineers.
Testing was a little different for the team this year. Instead of the cooler conditions of Barcelona in March, the testing was held at Bahrain Circuit which meant warmer conditions and even the occasional sandstorm. Despite this, the team still managed to get a good amount of laps in.
“The conditions out on track were slightly different to what we’re used to here in Bahrain. Running during the day means the track temperatures are much higher than usual, and the sandstorm on Friday evening proved an interesting challenge for the team and drivers. Despite this, we completed our run plans as expected throughout the weekend, with both drivers covering 328 laps over the three days.”
Seidl thanks the hard work his two drivers, Ricciardo and Lando Norris, have put in to make sure the team had the best possible data. The team will now analyse it all and make sure everything is all in order come the first race weekend at the Bahrain Grand Prix in two weeks time.
“The team, both here in Bahrain and back at the factory, has done an excellent job alongside our Mercedes colleagues to deliver a reliable car, which is crucial to a productive test. Thanks to Lando and Daniel for their hard work and valuable feedback during this pre-season test. We head back to Woking to analyse all the data and make our final preparations before we return to Bahrain for the start of the season.“
Seidl expects the upcoming season to be just as tight as ever when it comes to battles on the field.
“Once again, the competition is looking very tight between the teams. The stability of the regulations makes it likely that we’re in for another close season of Formula 1, with plenty of battles ahead. As always, we appreciate all the support of our brilliant fans and our superb partners from around the world, which we carry with us as we embark on an exciting season ahead.”