Aiming to bounce back from one of its worst seasons in recent memory, McLaren didn’t get going on the right foot today in Formula One testing at Jerez de la Frontera, Spain. In fact, they didn’t get going at all.
Electrical issues plagued the team’s new MP4-29 (pictured, from last week’s launch) and ultimately caused their entire plan for the day to be scratched.
Following overnight work, they expect to have their veteran driver, former World Champion Jenson Button, in the car tomorrow for what they surely hope will be a smoother outing.
For your perusal, here’s the full statement from the team:
“Today was a challenging start to the MP4-29’s test and development program. Along with other teams, we faced difficulties readying our new car for the first winter test of 2014.
Despite firing up successfully at the [McLaren Technology Centre] last week, the car was predominantly affected by electrical issues during the day. The subsequent dismantling, inspection and re-installation of several major components ultimately meant we were unable to conduct any running today.
What’s next: We’re re-installing key systems on the car overnight, with the expectation that Jenson will begin the car’s installation program tomorrow.”
Brendon Hartley says scoring a point on his Formula 1 debut would be “a dream” after being resigned to last place on the grid for the United States Grand Prix following an engine penalty.
Porsche factory driver Hartley was drafted in by Toro Rosso to replace Pierre Gasly for the USGP when the Frenchman was ruled out due to clashing commitments in Super Formula.
Despite having not driven an F1 car since 2012, Hartley came within one-tenth of a second of making it through to Q2 on Saturday at the Circuit of The Americas, ultimately qualifying 18th.
“Obviously I’d love to be quicker but we knew we were starting at the back, so we put a lot of focus on long runs, getting the peak performance out of this Pirelli tire I didn’t get today,” Hartley told NBCSN after the race.
“In FP3 I had a good feeling. There’s a lot of quirky things to manage with these tires. Honestly I should be happy with how the weekend’s gone so far.”
The New Zealander will start last due to a 25-place grid penalty for changes made to his power unit ahead of practice on Friday, and is daring to dream of making the top 10 in his first race out of a sports car for more than five years.
“I don’t do the 24 hours completely alone!” Hartley joked. “It’s quick. It’s physical to drive. I’ll be happy to be done after an hour and a half.
“A point would be a dream starting from the back. If I can move forward and put a race together, I’ll be happy.”
The United States Grand Prix is live on NBCSN and the NBC Sports app from 2pm ET on Sunday.