After two tricky days, the team turned a corner this morning, managing 32 trouble-free laps around Jerez, which enabled us to put our first serious miles on both the MP4-30 and the RA615H power unit.
Some fantastic work from the night-shift mechanics ensured Fernando was able to take to the track as soon as the session started; and, after a couple of exploratory installation laps and aero checks, we were able to ramp up his programme, extending the length of each run.
Despite only running on a damp track, and using Pirelli’s Intermediate tyres, Fernando put in a decent number of laps until he was side-lined before lunch.
He had just begun a timed run when he felt something awry with the car – he returned the car to the garage, where we discovered a loss of cooling water pressure. Fixing the issue required the removal of the power unit – a lengthy change that we couldn’t have completed in time for the car to return to the track today.
Nevertheless, it’s a fixable problem, and we’ll get things replaced ahead of Jenson’s final run in the car tomorrow.
ERIC BOULLIER – Racing director, McLaren-Honda
“Jenson’s final lap last night made us all feel happier, because we felt we’d cured the issues that had affected us on Sunday and Monday. This morning, it was a relief to see the car get out of the garage at 9am, and run without problems for several hours.
“Fernando’s comments were very positive, too: he said the car was reacting well to changes, and felt stable. Operationally, we’ve already covered everything in our programme, but what’s even more positive is that we’ve been able to carry out a number of longer runs. They’ve shown us that the car doesn’t have any conceptual or architectural issues.
“It’s good to see that the car is effectively able to run straight out of the box, without any major issues. That’s the most positive point of the day.”