McLaren Jerez test report, day four

Date Wednesday February 4 2015

Driver Jenson Button

Location Circuito de Jerez (4.428km)

Laps/km 35/155km

Total laps/km 79/351km

Best lap-time 1m27.660s (Jenson on Friday)

Programme The final day of a tricky but promising week of testing in Jerez, Spain.

Despite a number of frustrating issues, the team still managed a number of long runs today, and was able to incorporate a compressed programme of aerodynamic testing into the day.

After the installation lap, Jenson had a small oil-level problem, which sidelined the car for an hour; in the afternoon, the team ended the day early after encountering an issue that was initially attributed to a fuel-pump. We later discovered it to be a fuel-related spark/ignition issue – the precise cause of which we’re yet to pinpoint, so chose to end our day’s running in order to fully analyse it.

Despite not completing the mileage we’d hoped for at the start of the week, we still leave Jerez with a sizeable amount of useful data – and are satisfied that MP4-30 is performing much as we expected.

Operationally, the crews from McLaren and Honda have also developed their trackside integration, and we’ll take that momentum into the next test – at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, on February 19-22.

Matt Morris

McLaren-Honda engineering director

“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.”

Yasuhisa Arai

Honda R&D senior managing officer – chief officer of motorsport

“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.”

Today’s unofficial testing times

1 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1m20.841s 106 laps

2 Marcus Ericsson Sauber 1m22.019s 112 laps

3 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m22.172s 117 laps

4 Max Verstappen Toro Rosso 1m22.553s 97 laps

5 Felipe Massa Williams 1m23.116s 73 laps

6 Romain Grosjean Lotus 1m23.802s 53 laps

7 Daniil Kvyat Red Bull 1m23.975s 64 laps

8 Jenson Button McLaren-Honda 1m27.660s 35 laps

What’s next Our crews disperse around the globe – Woking, Milton Keynes, Tokyo and Sakura – before reuniting for the Barcelona tests at the end of the month.

Test dates Four days (February 1-4).

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