McLaren puts in overtime during Barcelona test to get things right for season

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McLaren Honda has to be hoping that the more you do in preseason testing can translate to potentially better outcomes during the Formula One season.

During last year’s first preseason test at Jerez, McLaren didn’t even reach 80 laps over four days of work.

But in the first two days of testing at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, McLaren has already more than doubled last year’s output, exceeding 200 test laps.

After Jenson Button handled Monday’s practice session, Fernando Alonso piloted the McLaren MP4-31 Honda  on Tuesday, covering 119 laps in his first day of running this year.

Both drivers focused on data gathering, systems and electronics checks, evaluation of engine modes, and preliminary tests of the 2016 aero package.

“We had a good day with regard to reliability again,” McLaren-Honda director of Engineering Matt Morris said in a media release. “Enjoying two days with no serious reliability issues has been a real positive.

“We completed everything we had planned for our program for today, and a little bit more besides, so, overall, another very positive day of running under our belts.”

Added Satoshi Nakamura, chief engineer for Honda R&D Co, “Today’s testing target was to do continuous laps at a steady pace so we could gauge the harvest and deployment of the power unit, and perform all energy management system checks.

“Thanks to the team’s hard work and Fernando’s focus in the cockpit, the 119 laps on track gave us plenty of feedback to finish today’s planned running program early. I am pleased to say that we will have lots of data to look through tonight and tomorrow onwards.”

The day also saw a managerial change within Honda, with Yasuhira Arai replaced by Yusuke Hasegawa.

Button is due to go back behind the wheel for additional testing on Wednesday. The four-day test concludes on Thursday.

TUESDAY’S UNOFFICIAL TESTING TIMES

1 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1m22.810s 126 laps
2 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull 1m23.525s 112 laps
3 Sergio Perez Force India 1m23.650s 101 laps
4 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m24.867s 172 laps
5 Marcus Ericsson Sauber 1m25.237s 108 laps
6 Esteban Gutierrez Haas 1m25.524s 79 laps
7 Valtteri Bottas Williams 1m25.648s 134 laps
8 Pascal Wehrlein Manor 1m25.925s 71 laps
9 Fernando Alonso McLaren 1m26.082s 119 laps
10 Jolyon Palmer Renault 1m26.189s 42 laps
11 Max Verstappen Toro Rosso 1m26.539s 121 laps

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