New-look Vodafone McLaren Mercedes MP4-24 makes debut in Portugal Portimao, Saturday January 17 2009: Fresh from Friday's launch at the McLaren Technology Centre in Woking, Vodafone McLaren Mercedes test driver Pedro de la Rosa gave the brand...
New-look Vodafone McLaren Mercedes MP4-24 makes debut in Portugal
Portimao, Saturday January 17 2009: Fresh from Friday's launch at the McLaren Technology Centre in Woking, Vodafone McLaren Mercedes test driver Pedro de la Rosa gave the brand new MP4-24 car its first track test at the Autodromo Internacional do Algarve test facility in Portugal.
After a delayed start to the day, the test team completed 18 laps in the MP4-24 during a private test, Pedro setting a best time of 1m 28.719s on his 13th lap. Pedro resumes the car's pre-season programme at Portimao on Monday and Tuesday before handing over to Lewis Hamilton on Wednesday. Heikki Kovalainen will conclude the four-day test session on Thursday.
Pedro de la Rosa
"It's always an exciting moment when you get behind the wheel of a brand new car for the first time - and, given the extent of the rule changes we've addressed over the winter, today was more tense than usual. However, I'm happy to report that the car behaved just as we believed it would from our data and we carried out a number of runs, gaining in confidence as we ran through a number of systems checks.
"Obviously, we have yet to really push the MP4-24 to its limits and we will start running more laps on Monday but this was a constructive start and has given us some confidence. Given the limits on testing this year, it's now essential that we work productively in order to develop the car ahead of the first race of the season. We have a busy few weeks ahead of us but everyone within the team is really looking forward to the work ahead."
Autodrome Internacional do Algarve test data
Track length 4.687km
Weather Very bright and sunny
Track temp 20C
Ambient temp 14.5C
Laps completed 18
Kilometres covered 84
Best laptime 1m 28.719s
Next week's test schedule
Monday Jan 19 Pedro
Tuesday Jan 20 Pedro
Wednesday Jan 21 Lewis
Thursday Jan 22 Heikki