Team McLaren Mercedes returned to the test track today at the Circuit de Catalunya in Spain, following the post-season break. Today's session marked the first of an intensive three week programme in the build-up to Christmas, and sees the ...
Team McLaren Mercedes returned to the test track today at the Circuit de Catalunya in Spain, following the post-season break. Today's session marked the first of an intensive three week programme in the build-up to Christmas, and sees the development programme for the 2006 challenger, the MP4-21, return to the track following the last test in September in Jerez.
Test driver Alex Wurz was joined in Spain by Gary Paffett, who was testing with the team having been crowned 2005 DTM Champion. Both drivers were at the wheel of interim MP4-20Bs, which were running the Mercedes-Benz new V8 engine, the FO108S.
Alex was the second fastest driver of the day with a time of 1m20.664s, while Gary was fastest with a best lap time of 1m20.588s. Alex's running was affected initially by some transmission problems, further compounded by hydraulics systems issues, which were resolved by the test team during the course of the day and he returned to the track for 11 laps in total.
Nick Heidfeld, who was attending the test with BMW Sauber, was also running a V8 engine.
"It was great to be back in action today at the Circuit de Catalunya, however my running was limited because of the small issues with the car, which have now been resolved. I am looking forward to be back behind the wheel tomorrow to really experience the Mercedes-Benz V8 and being able to put in more laps."
"I'm really happy to drive a Formula One car again after more than two years, and I particularly enjoy that I can test with Team McLaren Mercedes. I gained a lot of experience and enjoyed driving very much. For me, cornering speeds and braking were most impressive."
"However, the difference between the DTM and the Formula One car is not as big as it was between the Formula 3 and the Formula One car three years ago. Co-operating with the technicians I benefited a lot from my experience in the DTM. I'm already looking forward to continue testing tomorrow."
Alex and Gary will continue at testing at the circuit tomorrow, with Juan Pablo Montoya and Pedro de la Rosa taking over on Thursday and Friday.