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“McLaren 2017 Bahrain In-Season Test Day 1″

“We still achieved something today despte the limited running”



A challenging day of testing for the McLaren-Honda team on day one of the in-season test in Bahrain. Test and Development Driver Oliver Turvey – a regular in the McLaren-Honda simulator – got behind the wheel of the MCL32 for the first time on track. However, shortly after he completed his install lap, the engineers detected a water leak in the ERS system, which prompted a full PU change to further investigate the issue.

The team worked tirelessly through the day to ready the car for a return to the track, and Oliver stepped back into the cockpit for a second installation lap shortly after 17:00. The team managed two timed runs before the chequered flag fell, and Oliver crossed the line having completed 17 laps.

Despite the lack of mileage covered during today’s running, the team was able to collect some useful aero and PU data which will be analysed to help shape the programme for tomorrow’s final day of testing, when Stoffel will take over the driving duties.

“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.

“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.

“The guys have been working extremely hard in the garage and I want to say thanks to them for helping me to get back out on track. Today for me was about getting a feeling for how the whole package – car and tyres – works together. This is my eighth season with the team as a test driver, and I last drove for McLaren-Honda in 2015, so the car feels completely different. It’s hard to compare from year to year, but any time and knowledge I can pick up from my time in the car is important Tomorrow I’m keen to follow Stoffel’s programme, as I think it will be really useful.

“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.”

“After Oliver completed his installation run this morning, we discovered a water leak in the ERS which required a full PU change. We suspect the issue is related to those we encountered over the race weekend in Bahrain, but the circumstances were slightly different, so until the Honda engineers have done a full investigation we cannot be sure.

“I’d like to praise the guys and girls in the garage, who worked really hard once again to change the PU so we could return to the track – a tough job made tougher after a long couple of weeks away from home. Once the car was back up and running, I’m pleased that Oliver – in his first outing in the MCL32 – was able to put in some laps. It’s great to see him out here in Bahrain and we’re very appreciative of his support.

“The team will be working hard overnight as usual to ready the chassis and PU for testing tomorrow, when I hope we can have a more productive day of running than we managed today.”

“Today, we had hoped to work on improving our reliability following the issues we had during the Bahrain Grand Prix. But unfortunately, we faced a water leak issue from the ERS just after completing the installation laps, which happened in a similar place to the issues from the weekend.

“It’s still under investigation whether the issue we had today is the same as the one from the last week, and we are also investigating whether those issues are related to the specific features of Bahrain, such as weather or circuit layout. We are working hard to solve these issues before the Russian Grand Prix.

“It’s disappointing that we weren’t able to complete many laps on the first day of testing, and it’s a shame for Oliver who wasn’t able to make the most of his day in the car.

“However, we still have one more day to go tomorrow. We will be aiming to complete as many laps as possible in order to proceed with our development in both reliability and performance.”

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