F1: McLaren moving in the right direction
Raikkonen at the wheel of the MP4-21
Team McLaren Mercedes have completed a four day session at the Circuit Ricardo Tormo today.Kimi Raikkonen and Pedro de la Rosa today continued the week’s programme of set-up work and component evaluation, which covered overall car development and specific work for the first three races.
Kimi, who set the fastest time of the day and week with a 1m09.987, completed over 320km, whilst Pedro racked up 450km over 113 laps. The Spaniard set the fifth quickest time of the day. Today’s running took the total for MP4-21 to approx 5100km since its first shakedown on Monday 23rd January.
The test began on Tuesday with Juan Pablo Montoya and Pedro shaking down the second and third MP4-21 chassis, which arrived in Valencia from the McLaren Technology Centre over the weekend.
The two MP4-21s were debuting the new Team McLaren Mercedes chrome livery on track.
The shakedown saw Juan Pablo and Pedro complete the required systems checks for the new cars, and then during the course of the afternoon both drivers began to complete longer runs. By the end of the day Juan Pablo and Pedro had covered around 600km in total.
Wednesday saw Kimi arrive in Spain to join Juan Pablo. The Colombian’s focus for the day was completing a race distance, which included pit stop practice with the new cars. Kimi’s programme saw him work on set-up programmes for the opening races over shorter runs, and the Finn set the second fastest time of the day. Juan Pablo and Kimi continued testing together on Thursday, and they covered a total of 485km.
The test programme will switch to the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona next week for a three day session with Kimi and Juan Pablo again driving two MP4-21s.
“It has been an encouraging week at the test; I have covered good mileage in the MP4-21 in dry track conditions and worked through a number of development programmes with the team. Next week I will be in Barcelona for my final test before going to Bahrain, I have three days in the car there and I am looking forward to carrying on with the work from this week.”
Juan Pablo Montoya
“We have made some progress with our testing programme in Valencia. I have now reached a total of nearly 750km in the MP4-21 there this week, which included a race simulation on Wednesday. The car is constantly developing, but there is still a lot of work to do. Everyone in the team is working really hard at the moment and I feel we are moving in the right direction.”
Pedro de la Rosa
“I would say that the MP4-21 is definitely improving at the moment, we made a step forward this week and are looking to carry this momentum forward into the next test in Barcelona. I had two days in the car, including the shakedown on Tuesday, and covered over 860km.”