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Lando Norris, McLaren MCL36, out of his car after stopping on circuit
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Formula 1 Bahrain March testing
Special feature

How McLaren’s eye-catching start stalled at the Bahrain test

After an impressive showing at Barcelona, McLaren’s fortunes took a hit with a stop-start Bahrain test hit by front brake woe and Daniel Ricciardo sidelined having tested positive for COVID-19. While it goes into the opener on the backfoot with fixes to find, the Woking team still appears set to be a contender at the front

The track has just gone silent, marker boards suddenly flashing bright red. A car has stopped in the Bahrain pitlane exit, halfway to the turn-in point for the first corner. Its driver stands alone by the side of the stranded machine. Marshals are massing on the narrow infield grass in front of the gigantic BIC tower overlooking the scene.

But a handily placed car recovery crane isn't moving. The driver eventually turns his back towards his car and bows down. He places his hands onto the halo and cockpit edge and strains. The wheels slowly start churning and they're off, heading back down the long slog to the Sakhir pitlane entrance on a day that has earlier reached 39C. Now, as the sun disappears before the final hours of running on day two of the final 2022 Formula 1 pre-season test, it has cooled, but not by much.

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