McLaren pleased with first tests

The first week of testing for the new McLaren-Mercedes MP4-20 has been declared a success by the team, despite some difficulties with conditions at the Catalunya circuit

McLaren pleased with first tests

Extremely cold weather and even some light snowfall early in the week, plus continued problems with the recently resurfaced track, provided an extra challenge for drivers Kimi Raikkonen and Juan Pablo Montoya.

"It was the same situation with the freezing track this morning, but once it warmed up we were able to complete some long runs," said Montoya at the end of Friday's session. "Everything is going well and it has been a good first test, however until we get the car to Australia and start racing there is no point in making any predictions."

"The fact that the circuit has been resurfaced recently is causing any team that comes here some difficulties, because it is more difficult to determine the pace," added Ron Dennis. "This week has been more difficult because the circuit was heavily wetted for wet testing last week and it was quite dirty.

"However we are going through all the checks that you would make with a new car. Testing in earnest won't really start until next week."

McLaren had exclusive use of the Barcelona track until Friday, when Ferrari and Sauber arrived to begin a weekend of testing. Montoya ended the day third quickest behind Ferrari tester Luca Badoer in a 2004 chassis, and Michael Schumacher in the hybrid Ferrari F2004 M that the team will use for the first four races of the season. Aside from a minor incident when Montoya misjudged the entry to his pit box and clipped some mechanics (without causing any injuries), the test went smoothly for McLaren - with the new car covering more than 1,100 kilometres.

"On both Thursday and Friday Juan Pablo covered more than one grand prix distance," said Mercedes' Norbert Haug. "All the tests were run with one engine and this ran like clockwork. Despite the track conditions not being at all ideal, rather impressive times were achieved."

Raikkonen was entrusted with the first three days of testing in the new car, before Montoya took over on Thursday, and the Finn was equally content with initial progress.

"It is still quite early to say, but I am happy with the car," said Raikkonen. "We have made a few changes to it during the test and the lap times are getting better, so I am happy."

shares
comments
Toyota 'not part of GPWC'

Previous article

Toyota 'not part of GPWC'

Next article

Jordan loses technical director

Jordan loses technical director
Load comments
The other notable Monza escape that F1 should learn from Plus

The other notable Monza escape that F1 should learn from

OPINION: The headlines were dominated by the Italian Grand Prix crash between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton, who had the halo to thank for avoiding potentially serious injury. But two days earlier, Formula 1 had a lucky escape with a Monza pitlane incident that could also have had grave consequences

How Monza only added more questions to F1's sprint race conundrum Plus

How Monza only added more questions to F1's sprint race conundrum

With two sprint races under its belt, Formula 1 must now consider its options for them going forward. While they've helped deliver exciting racing on Sundays, the sprints themselves have been somewhat lacking - creating yet another conundrum for F1 to solve...

Formula 1
Sep 16, 2021
Who should Alfa Romeo sign for 2022's F1 season? Plus

Who should Alfa Romeo sign for 2022's F1 season?

OPINION: With Valtteri Bottas already signed up for 2022, all eyes are on the race for the second seat at Alfa Romeo next year. Antonio Giovinazzi is the current incumbent, but faces a tough competition from appealing short and long-term prospects

Formula 1
Sep 15, 2021
The "forced break" that was key to Ricciardo's Monza excellence Plus

The "forced break" that was key to Ricciardo's Monza excellence

OPINION: Daniel Ricciardo has long been considered one of Formula 1’s elite drivers. But his struggles at McLaren since switching from Renault for 2021 have been painful to watch at times. Yet he’s recovered to banish those memories with a famous Monza win – built on a critically important foundation

Formula 1
Sep 14, 2021
How Verstappen is ruining his F1 title battle with Hamilton Plus

How Verstappen is ruining his F1 title battle with Hamilton

OPINION: The Italian GP clash between Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen followed a running theme in the 2021 Formula 1 title fight. Their close-quarters battles have often resulted in contact - and although Hamilton has shown a willingness to back off, Verstappen must learn to temper his aggression

Formula 1
Sep 14, 2021
Italian Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Italian Grand Prix Driver Ratings

Two drivers produced maximum-score performances as, for the second year in a row, Monza threw up an unpredictable result that left several others ruing what might have been

Formula 1
Sep 13, 2021
Why Ricciardo was set for Monza F1 triumph even without Verstappen/Hamilton crash Plus

Why Ricciardo was set for Monza F1 triumph even without Verstappen/Hamilton crash

The clash between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton was the major flashpoint the 2021 Italian Grand Prix will be remembered for. Yet by this point, race leader Daniel Ricciardo had already done the hard work that would put him in position to end his and McLaren's lengthy win droughts, on a memorable afternoon in Monza

Formula 1
Sep 13, 2021
Why Italian GP success is on for McLaren even if Verstappen dominates Plus

Why Italian GP success is on for McLaren even if Verstappen dominates

For the second time in 2021, McLaren will line up for the start of a grand prix from the first row. It knows it has the chance of “glory” if things go well for Daniel Ricciardo and Lando Norris at the start of the 2021 Italian Grand Prix, but even if they just maintain their grid positions, signs from the rest of the Monza weekend suggest success is very possible for Formula 1’s other orange army

Formula 1
Sep 12, 2021