McLaren Honda’s Stoffel Vandoorne had a positive day in the MCL32 on the final day of the opening Formula One winter test at the Barcelona Circuit Du Catalunya in Spain on Thursday.
The Belgian completed 67 laps and ended the day with the seventh fastest time overall with a 01:22.576s.
Speaking following the final day of testing, Vandoorne commented by saying:
I’m really pleased both Fernando and I were able to spend a full day in the car with no major issues, get a good amount of valuable mileage under our belt and complete our scheduled run plans on both days. We’ve tried a lot of different things, worked on various set-ups, and we’re learning a lot about the handling and characteristics of the car with every lap, which has been very useful for me.
“The addition of the wet testing was also interesting as it was the first opportunity for us to try out a wet weather set-up with the new tyres and under the new regulations. I felt comfortable in the car, even in the wet, which has provided us with valuable data and given me a good feel for how the car reacts in varying track conditions.
“We had a difficult start to the week, but I want to say thank you to the team for all their hard work over the past four days. We’ve managed a solid couple of days’ running and made good progress, and I’m really proud of the team effort to ensure we could make the most of our track time. I hope we can continue this momentum and have a strong week at the next test.
The Woking based outfit were able to complete their full test programme for the day. Speaking following the final day of the opening test, McLaren Honda Racing Director Eric Boullier commented by saying:
The first couple of days of the first test were certainly challenging, but I salute the efforts of everyone at McLaren-Honda, who have pulled together and worked hard to enable us to complete some solid and much-needed mileage, putting us in good stead over the weekend in preparation for next week.
“The mileage and test plan we have completed has provided us with a great amount of data that our engineers are already busy number crunching and analysing, which will help shape our run programme for the next test and allow us to move forward with our development.
“We were able to make use of today’s scheduled wet running to learn a lot about the new 2017 tyres and our car’s strengths and weaknesses. Although mitigating any risks on a wet track was key, we made use of all conditions to test out various configurations of wet-to-dry set-up and gather useful information for the season ahead.
“Over the weekend we’ll put all of our learning to good use and return to the track next Tuesday morning aiming to continue where we left off, and get some more valuable mileage on the board so we can push forward.
Honda R&D Co LTD Head of F1 Project & Executive Chief Engineer Yusuke Hasegawa commented by saying:
Following on from a much more productive day of running yesterday, today we were able to complete our testing programme with no major issues. Our main aim was to continue testing the durability of the power unit.
“We have recovered our programme after the track time we lost, and worked through all of our planned schedule over the past two days. The PU from day two is now with our engineers at Honda R&D in Sakura, Japan, to investigate the root cause of the problem we encountered.
“The McLaren-Honda team has worked incredibly hard this week, and although it hasn’t always been easy, we collected very important data to help us understand the car and PU package better.
“We will now prepare for the second and final pre-season test, during which we hope to continue collecting valuable information for the first race in Melbourne.
McLaren and Honda will now return to their bases in the UK and Japan to pour over the data that collected over the last four days before heading back to the Barcelona Circuit Du Catalunya on Tuesday for the final four days of testing before the teams head Down Under for the first race of the new season, the Rolex Australian Grand Prix, in Melbourne’s Albert Park.