The second day of the shortened pre-season test at the Bahrain International Circuit provided another opportunity for Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo to get used to the new MCL35M and its Mercedes power unit. There seems to be a quiet confidence within the McLaren camp about the performance of the car with the commentators alluding to this throughout the day.
James Key, Technical Director, feels that the team and drivers had another useful day of testing with both Norris and Ricciardo being able to learn from what they already learned on the first day. Even though the program was varied, McLaren managed to get through what they set out to do, covering over 100 laps whilst working on various different aero measurements.
“A useful day of testing – it’s good to get both drivers back in the car again after they’ve had some time to process and analyse what they experienced on day one. We had quite a varied programme today which we got through as we’d hoped, covering over 100 laps between our two drivers, who worked on a number of aero tests and measurements, looked at some different tyre compounds in a bit more detail than yesterday, as well as completed both one-lap configurations and longer running which will give a bit of a heads-up of what to expect in those conditions.”
With the new power-unit, McLaren have a duty to carry out tests with the engineers at the Mercedes HPP and as with the other tests, these successful.
“We also were able to conduct some tests to sign off aspects of our new power unit installation and operation with our colleagues at Mercedes HPP, which were completed as planned.”
Overall Key feels that so far the test has been successful, with only one day left of the shortened pre-season test it is crucial that the British team have another successful day before the season opening Bahrain Grand Prix on March 28th.
“Overall, it’s been a positive and busy day with a good level of reliability. We only have one day left of testing now before we hit the track for the first race of the season, so we’ll hope for a similarly productive day tomorrow and aim to maximise the small amount of time we’ve got left.”