Team McLaren Mercedes concluded an intensive four day test at the Paul Ricard High Tech Test Track today, in a session affected by damp conditions. Running for Pedro de la Rosa and Gary Paffett did not get underway until after the lunch break at...
Team McLaren Mercedes concluded an intensive four day test at the Paul Ricard High Tech Test Track today, in a session affected by damp conditions.
Running for Pedro de la Rosa and Gary Paffett did not get underway until after the lunch break at the French track, with Pedro taking to the track at 13:07 and Gary four minutes later, as the overnight rain that had left the track wet began to dry out.
The focus for Pedro was chassis developments for the MP4-21, with Gary working alongside Pedro on the same programme at the wheel of the interim MP4-20. Pedro covered 370km over 98 laps and set a fastest time of 1m05.381, which put him second on the timesheets. Gary completed 61 laps and 230km as he put in a time of 1m05.709.
The test began for the team on Tuesday, which was also affected by bad weather. Heavy rain overnight and continuous drizzle during the day made track conditions difficult. The team took the decision that Gary would take not part in the day, as his focus was on Michelin development work and the wet circuit would not have provided any meaningful feedback.
Pedro was conducting a shakedown with the fourth chassis of the MP4-21, and was able to complete the initial systems checks over a few short runs in the morning before covering more significant mileage during the afternoon on intermediate tyres. This saw the Spaniard put in 637km over 155 laps of the track, which was in the 4.11km 2E SC configuration.
From Wednesday onwards the track layout changed to the 3.8km 3E SC, and the weather for the Wednesday and Thursday was dry and bright. This allowed both Pedro and Gary to complete long distances as they concluded the tyre selection process for the San Marino Grand Prix with Michelin during the two days.
This saw both drivers complete series of short and long runs to evaluate the different compounds. Pedro's morning session ended with six one-lappers as the Spaniard simulated qualifying on the different Michelins as part of the programme.
At the end of play on Thursday, Pedro's running for the week saw him reach a total of 1,837km over three consecutive days using one Mercedes-Benz V8 engine for the whole distance. His engine was changed at the end of the day, to allow the unit to return to Brixworth.
Pedro de la Rosa:
"We have had a really positive test this week at Paul Ricard, with reliable running on all four days. This has enabled us to put significant mileage onto chassis 4 of MP4-21 and the Mercedes-Benz V8 engine, as we worked through the various development programmes with the car."
"There have been a few problems with the weather on Tuesday and this morning, but it did not affect my programme too badly, as I was able to continue putting in the miles. My total kilometres for the week is 2,207, and I was able to complete two Grands Prix distances on each of the first three days."
"It was good to get back to testing this week at Ricard, obviously it was a shame that I was not able to get on track on Tuesday, but my programme with Michelin was focused on dry running, which was not possible due to the wet weather conditions."
"We had a couple of positive days on Wednesday and Thursday and completed the tyre selection process for Imola. Today my focus was chassis development and we had some strong running in the afternoon when the track dried out."