An intensive three day test for Team McLaren Mercedes finished at Barcelona's Circuit de Catalunya today. Kimi Raikkonen and Juan Pablo Montoya took the total kilometres covered at the test to just under 2,000, as they continued the programme of...
An intensive three day test for Team McLaren Mercedes finished at Barcelona's Circuit de Catalunya today. Kimi Raikkonen and Juan Pablo Montoya took the total kilometres covered at the test to just under 2,000, as they continued the programme of Michelin tyre selection for the Spanish Grand Prix and set-up work in two MP4-21s.
In today's session, Kimi covered over 463km as he put in 100 laps of the Circuit de Catalunya. His fastest time of 1m14.751 put the Finn in sixth position on the timesheets. Juan Pablo completed 32 laps and 148km at the Spanish circuit, and set the seventh quickest time of the day, with a 1m14.879. The close nature of the times was demonstrated again today, with under eight tenths covering the top seven drivers.
The running today was interrupted for both drivers with mechanical failures on the MP4- 21s, which with Juan Pablo led to his car going off track into a gravel trap. There was no damage to his MP4-21 and the test team were able to resolve the issues quickly and get both cars back out on track to continue running. Towards the end of the session, Juan Pablo also suffered an engine problem, however with under an hour left of the day, the team took the decision to end his test for the week.
With 18 cars on track for each day of the test, red flag stoppages limited the action during the week on track. Despite this, Team McLaren Mercedes were able to complete an productive week of development work with the two MP4-21s.
Pedro kicked-off the week for the team on Wednesday morning, a solid day of work saw the Spaniard complete 342km over 75 laps of his home circuit. Kimi joined Pedro on track for the afternoon session, as the test team had spent the morning preparing his MP4-21 for action.
The car, which had been at the first three races as the spare car and had under gone the standard rebuild process, had arrived at the track overnight from the McLaren Technology Centre. As a result, Kimi completed just 24 laps on Wednesday, covering 111km with a focus on the set-up programme for the week.
Testing for Kimi began in earnest on Thursday as he set the fifth fastest time of the day, with 92 laps his total for the day. Juan Pablo joined Kimi on track on Thursday, and the Colombian was able to cover 104 laps as the team started the Michelin work allocated to the session.
"It has been good to get back to testing this week in Barcelona, and continuing the work that the test team has been covering over the past few weeks since the start of the season. Although the track has been closed a lot, because of all the red flags, we have still been able to work through a lot of development work with the MP4-21 and we are continuing to make good progress with the car."
"When you see how close the times are between the top few cars in testing, when you are focused on your development programme rather than times, it shows how much of a competitive season we have ahead of us this year!"
Juan Pablo Montoya:
"My two days at this week's test at the Circuit de Catalunya were focused on Michelin selection for the Spanish Grand Prix, which takes place in a month from now. We have been evaluating the prime and options with Michelin, with some interesting results, and have been able to conclude the process today."
Pedro de la Rosa:
"Although I was only on track for one day, it was a positive day and we make some positive progress work on the set-up and general development of MP4-21. It was certainly good for the test team to have two MP4-21s on track"
The Team McLaren Mercedes test programme will continue the week following the San Marino Grand Prix at the Silverstone circuit in the UK. Juan Pablo will be present from Tuesday 25th -- Thursday 27th April, with Pedro joining the Colombian on the Tuesday. Kimi will then take over testing duties from Pedro on Wednesday and Thursday.