Wednesday, 4 February 2015

McLaren making progress despite limited mileage in Jerez


McLaren Honda are positive that they can make progress with their new Honda powered MP4-30 despite completing limited mileage over the course of the opening winter test in Jerez. 

The team were forced to end their day early on Tuesday and today Jenson Button was briefly side lined in the morning as a result of an oil level problem, however the team were able to rectify this and the 2009 managed to complete 35 laps.

The Woking based outfit completed 79 laps over the four days which was more than Infiniti Red Bull Racing completed at this stage last year.

Button also managed to complete the most number of laps in one day in the MP4-30 which will be encouraging for the team. Despite being left disappointed by not completing the mileage they had hoped to over the course of the opening test the team were satisfied with the data collected.

Fernando Alonso who re-joins the team from Ferrari said earlier this week that he will be patient and understands that it will take time for the new partnership to gel.

Speaking about the Jerez test McLaren Honda’s Engineering Director Matt Morris stated:

'Unfortunately, we’ve had a few issues this week – all of which have been pretty small – but cumulatively they meant we were stuck in the garage for quite some time. Still, our prime objective coming away from this test was to ascertain that the main car architecture worked, and we’ve done that. One of the great benefits we’ve had in designing this car is the amount of work we’ve been able to undertake in close collaboration with Honda – particularly in terms of packaging. 

“In tandem with that, we’ve really been helped by Mobil 1 – they designed a bespoke engine oil for us that’s been optimised around the Honda power unit. That meant we were really able to push the limit on packaging and installation because we’ve had the confidence of knowing the cooling limits of the rear end, and the transmission. The result is a beautifully packaged piece of kit, and it’s an area around which we’ll continue to push development throughout the season.”
“Today, we had a couple of stoppages, but we were still able to get on with our aero progamme – obtaining correlation data for the guys back at the factory, just so we can check that everything’s working as we expected.
“Additionally, Jenson’s been able to give Honda some really good feedback – he’s been constantly providing analysis after every run. That’s to be expected: it’s a new power unit, so there’s a lot of information that being sent back to Japan, and Honda are constantly upgrading the car.
“We head to Barcelona hopeful of further refining and developing the package.”
Honda R&D senior managing officer – chief officer of motorsport Yasuhisa Arai commented on the opening test saying:

'Looking back at the first four days of testing, I’m both happy and relieved that we’ve been able to get the car here and watch it run on the track – it’s a new car and a new power unit, so a huge undertaking for many people in both Sakura and Woking. I’m proud of all their efforts.

“Of course, we’d anticipated there would be issues – this is a test, after all – but the difficulties we faced here were more than we’d expected, so we weren’t able to get the running time we’d ideally wanted. Nonetheless, Fernando and Jenson’s feedback has been positive and comprehensive – they’ve given us some very good information.
“There’s now an incredible amount of positivity within the organisation. We’ll return to the track in Barcelona – with some modifications – and will be stronger at the next two tests.
“I’m extremely pleased to see Honda back where it belongs – in Formula 1'.
© Ben Johnston 2015

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