TODAY: Pedro de la Rosa and Gary Paffett completed an intensive four day test for Team McLaren Mercedes at the Paul Ricard High Tech Test Track in the south of France today. Work for the pair remained on preparations for the Canadian round of...
Pedro de la Rosa and Gary Paffett completed an intensive four day test for Team McLaren Mercedes at the Paul Ricard High Tech Test Track in the south of France today.
Work for the pair remained on preparations for the Canadian round of the 2006 Formula One World Championship in late June. With the Paul Ricard facility allowing the teams to configure the circuit to simulate other track layouts, Team McLaren Mercedes pushed forward with development work and Michelin tyre selection for Canada.
Pedro was third on the timesheets, with a 1m27.290 set during the afternoon's running. The Spaniard completed over 271km as he put in 52 laps of the track. A problem with the clutch meant that he did not run in the morning as the mechanics worked on his car to resolve it.
Team mate Gary covered 77 laps at Paul Ricard today, equating to 401km. His time of 1m27.649 saw him end the day fourth fastest.
DAY ONE -- TUESDAY 16TH MAY:
Kimi Raikkonen and Juan Pablo Montoya were in attendance for the first session of the week at Paul Ricard, which for Tuesday and Wednesday was in the 2D SC 3.593km configuration. This short layout simulates Monaco, a track with no pre-race testing, as closely as possible. The focus of the first two days was on the cooling and bodywork package for the race at Monte Carlo and Michelin tyre selection.
In warm weather conditions Kimi and Juan Pablo covered 618km in total, putting in the fifth and sixth fastest times of the day. The team also spent time during the day evaluating various suspension options with Kimi's MP4-21.
DAY TWO -- WEDNESDAY 17TH MAY:
The Team McLaren Mercedes race drivers continued the preparations for the Monaco Grand Prix, including completing the Michelin selection process. The test programme continued from the previous day, with some additional work for the drivers on set-up for the event together with their race engineers. Juan Pablo completed over 435km of the French circuit as he set the seventh fastest time. Kimi ended the day in ninth on the timesheets as he covered 269km.
DAY THREE -- THURSDAY 18TH MAY:
Pedro and Gary replaced Kimi and Juan Pablo at Paul Ricard, which for the final two days of the test was run in the longer and faster 1E SC short configuration. At 5.216km in length the layout allowed the test team to work on specific Mercedes-Benz engine and aerodynamic developments for the Canadian Grand Prix in June.
As the warm weather continued the test drivers were able to complete their programme for the day as they put in 1,142km in total. Pedro set the third quickest time of the day as he covered 120 laps. The day saw Gary drive the MP4-21 for the first time, as his previous work for the team had focused on Michelin development in the interim MP4-20.
"It was good to get some testing in at Paul Ricard before we go to Monaco next week. Because the track layout is similar we have been able to work through some set-up options. We also had some good feedback with our Michelin work, so I am now looking forward to getting on track next Thursday and continuing our programme."
Juan Pablo Montoya:
"We worked through all our scheduled preparations for Monaco at the test, looking at areas such as the specific cooling and bodywork package that we will run on the unique track. We had some positive running with that and also spent time on the Mercedes-Benz engine programme."
Pedro de la Rosa:
"Our two days of testing at Paul Ricard saw myself and Gary focusing on the technical build-up to the Canadian Grand Prix in June. We covered a good distance yesterday in the two MP4-21s as we worked on areas such as engine, aerodynamics and Michelin selection for the race. Unfortunately I had a problem with the clutch this morning but the team worked hard and we managed to complete our programme this afternoon."
"It was really great for me to get my hands on the MP4-21 for the first time this week. We had two good days, completing over 900km, and I got a real feel for the car. It is of course different to the interim MP4-20 to drive, as that car had a restricted V10 engine, but you soon adapt to that."