by Adrian-Liviu Dorofte

Test Report - Barcelona - Day One (VMM) [II]

The last stage of pre-season F1 tests kicked off yesterday at Barcelona. Jenson Button was in charge of the MP4-26 all day long; the purpose was to achieve more mileage and evaluate certain components and setups. The team fitted the single-seater with a bulky measuring instrument fitted to the nosecone in order to record essential data about the aerodynamic behaviour of the front section of the car. Jenson gained further knowledge by doing long runs on high fuel as to better get the overall picture and familiarize himself with the 2011 car. In the end, the former British champion came home second in the timing charts, behind Red Bull's Mark Webber, and concluded that McLaren-Mercedes will still have to deliver a solid work in advance of the Australian GP (25th-27th March) to extensively develop the car and surpass its major opponents, but admitted the team is on the right trail for achieving a good result on the circuit of Melbourne. On the second testing day, Lewis Hamilton will take over the duties behind the wheel of the MP4-26.

Read the official report after hitting the jump button!


Barcelona, Spain, Mar 08, 2011

Date - Tuesday March 8 2011
Driver - Jenson Button
Location - Circuit de Catalunya
Track length - 4.655km
Weather - Bitterly cold and grey – with the threat of rain all day. Maximum ambient temperature 13.2°C, maximum track temperature 27.2°C.

Laps completed - 74
Kilometres covered - 344km
Best Laptime - 1m22.910s


For the final winter test of the season, the Vodafone McLaren Mercedes team has chosen to run across two separate two-day sessions (Tuesday and Friday with Jenson; Wednesday and Saturday with Lewis). This provides the team with a changeover day on Thursday, when there will be no track running, and also extends the arrival of new components over the course of the test’s full five days.

With Jenson behind the wheel, the team spent the morning evaluating a number of new parts, including a new-for-2011 front-wing, and conducting pitstop practices and studies with the full race-crew. The afternoon’s focus was on longer runs and tyre analysis.

The day’s running was also notable for the appearance of a distinctive piece of porpoise-shaped measuring equipment which was fitted to the nosecone of Jenson’s car. The equipment was for testing purposes only and will not be raced.

Speaking at the end of the day, Jenson said: “The last couple of tests haven’t been perfect for us, and I think that’s partly due to us lacking set-up work. But today I think we made some positive progress with MP4-26’s balance.

“This morning, I did a number of short runs and, in the afternoon, we did some long runs, looked at set-up and balance, and spent the rest of the day looking at tyre consistency.
“I know there’s not much testing left – I only have one more day in the car – but, after today, I feel we can make further positive progress over the next few days. Given the limited amount of set-up work we’ve completed this winter, I feel we now have a good base upon which we can build. And that’s nice to see.”

Driver for day two - Lewis Hamilton
Duration of test - Four days (March 8-9 & 11-12)

* Official report courtesy of VODAFONE MCLAREN MERCEDES *

Source of the photos >> F1 Fanatic

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