Fernando Alonso took to the wheel of the McLaren-Honda MP4-31 for the first day of in-season testing at Silverstone Circuit. In typical Silverstone fashion, the weather conditions were mixed, with a dry track and sunny spells in the morning quickly followed by heavy rain and strong gusts in the afternoon.
The changeable weather meant the team could take advantage of testing different set-ups and both dry and wet-weather tyre compounds while working through today’s programme.
Today’s run plan focus was on correlation of aero components, and verification of recent upgrades with wind tunnel data, plus set-up configuration for the next couple of races.
Some of the data collected from today’s programme will be used to aid the development of next year’s McLaren-Honda chassis. The team also performed additional testing of the recent Honda power unit upgrade.
Fernando completed today’s plan without any reliability issues, and topped the timesheets with a best lap of 1m31.290s and a tally of 105 laps.
DAVID REDDING, McLaren-Honda team manager
“It was very pleasing to complete today’s test programme, despite the ever-changing conditions posing a challenge for Fernando, our mechanics and engineers. However, the rain allowed us to test a number of different configurations, during which we collected a lot of valuable data to support set-up for the next couple of grands prix before the summer break.
“Today has been a positive day of running and the information gathered from Fernando’s total of 105 laps has provided us with the necessary tools to shape tomorrow’s programme with Stoffel. The data secured from this test will support both short and long-term development of our chassis and power unit, especially with regard to aero components. Today’s long run has also enabled us to put useful mileage on the power unit and ratify data following its latest upgrade.”
SATOSHI NAKAMURA, Honda R&D Co Ltd principal engineer
“Today’s testing was focused on confirming the functionality and data of the intake system upgrade we applied on the ICE for the British Grand Prix. Thanks to Fernando’s solid and consistent running, we were able to gather useful data on reliability and performance which will keep our engineers busy tonight.
“We were able to do many laps in both the dry and wet conditions, and everything ran smoothly, so we are happy with the first day of running.”