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A bit of a disaster Pre-Season Test for McLaren F1



A bit of a disaster Pre-Season Test for McLaren F1 norris

A bit of a disaster Pre-Season Test for McLaren F1 after a brake cooling problem.

This test turned out to be a bit of a disaster for McLaren. It had a brake cooling problem that seemed to run deeper than just needing to open up the cooling ducts.

That didn’t stop it from doing short runs, but it did prevent any race simulation running and limited the opportunities for tyre evaluation. So McLaren goes into next weekend’s grand prix a little blind.

The car itself looks well-balanced and doesn’t suffer from the porpoising we have seen from some others.

Daniel Ricciardo will go into it totally blind. He went down with COVID-19 so spent the week in the hotel room and will hopefully be back next Friday to dial himself in during FP1.

It has been a very difficult Official Pre-Season Test at the Bahrain International Circuit for the McLaren F1 Team, with an absent Daniel Ricciardo and a number of reliability issues.

The final day at Bahrain was the best of the three for McLaren, with sole driver for the test, Lando Norris, completing an impressive 90 laps. The best of those was a 1:33.191, enough to put him ninth fastest, although the timing screen is somewhat irrelevant during testing.

Norris was glad that the team finally got some solid running in at Bahrain, the British driver is hopeful that the team can get on top of their problems before the first Grand Prix next weekend.


“A better final day. We ended with some more positives with thankfully a lot more running. The team made some good progress with the problems we’ve been having. There’s still a lot of improvements to be made for us to able to compete next week. We have a better understanding of the car, and we’ll try to implement all of that next week and improve everything going into the first race of the season. So, a tough three days, not what we wanted but good enough. We’ve learnt a lot and made the most of it, which is the most important thing.”

It has been a very challenging test for McLaren, not helped by Ricciardo testing positive for Covid-19, or by an issue on the MCL36’s front axle. It comes as a disappointment to the team, who enjoyed a successful test at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.

McLaren Team Principal, Andreas Seidl, noted that the team’s running was heavily compromised across the three days, but is hopeful that the issue with the front axle can be solved before the first race.

“After a positive start in Barcelona, we’ve had a very challenging test here in Bahrain. Our running has been compromised by an issue on the front axle. Time constraints did not allow us to entirely solve this during the test but we were able to move forward, despite a limitation in the number of laps we could complete. We continued to improve our understanding of the car and extract more performance over the course of the test.

“The objective is to fully solve this issue before next weekend’s Bahrain Grand Prix, giving it our all here at the track and at the MTC to catch-up on what we’ve lost over the past three days. Thanks to our entire trackside team, the team back home at the factory and our colleagues from Mercedes HPP for their hard work during this test. Thanks also to Lando for completing all three days, with Daniel unavailable, testing positive for covid. We wish him a speedy recovery and are looking forward to having him back next weekend for the first race of the season. Winter testing has now concluded and we’re very excited to be going racing again.”

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A bit of a disaster Pre-Season Test for McLaren F1 A bit of a disaster Pre-Season Test for McLaren F1