The Valencia test ended today, the final session of an intensive four day test that saw Team McLaren Mercedes cover over 2250km in total, about 900km in the MP4-21. Kimi Raikkonen began the week in the MP4-21, on Tuesday 31st January....
The Valencia test ended today, the final session of an intensive four day test that saw Team McLaren Mercedes cover over 2250km in total, about 900km in the MP4-21.
Kimi Raikkonen began the week in the MP4-21, on Tuesday 31st January. Wet weather conditions dominated the day, and as a result the Finn's work focused on systems checks. However, having completed just over 100km during the day, Kimi returned home with a bad cold at the end of the session.
Juan Pablo Montoya took over from Kimi in the MP4-21. As weather conditions improved, the warmer, dry environment allowed Juan Pablo to cover a good distance in the team's 2006 car. The Columbian's programme for the week was running long stints.
In today's session Juan Pablo continued to work on achieving longer runs and putting good mileage on MP4-21. In the morning, Juan Pablo completed two runs of 26 laps. On his third long run of the day, his engine failed and Juan Pablo stopped out on track. The test team replaced the engine, however just before Juan Pablo was due to go back out on track, an issue with the hydraulics system was identified.
Because this happened late in the session and the team had achieved the primary engineering objectives for the day, the decision was taken to end running for the week. In total today, Juan Pablo covered 280km and set a quickest time of 1m12.802.
Pedro de la Rosa and Gary Paffett have also been testing with the team this week, at the wheel of the interim MP4-20. The sole focus for both drivers over the four day session has been key Michelin tyre development programmes.
Gary was in Valencia on Tuesday and Wednesday, completing over 620km in total. Pedro assumed driving duties on Thursday and Friday and the Spaniard covered 740km, with 380 of those today.
Juan Pablo Montoya:
"The distances we are covering is allowing us to complete some key programmes with the car and I am looking forward to continuing this process next week in Jerez. The car is getting better the more we run it and develop it, and the team are doing a really good job. We have had a couple of technical issues this week, but this is why we test and everything like this helps us learn more about the car."
"The rain we had in Valencia on Tuesday meant that general testing was not really possible as we would not get any useful results from running. So we used the opportunity to complete some of the tests that we need to do before the start of the season, such as wet launches, various fuel systems checks and so on."
"Because of my bad cold, I was not able to test on the Wednesday, which was a shame as it was not raining. However I will be back in the car in Jerez on Thursday and will hopefully be able to start putting in some good distances in MP4-21."
Pedro de la Rosa:
"We have had another interesting week at the Circuit Ricardo Tormo, we have been able to put further mileage on the MP4-21 and from what the team are saying and the time I spent in the car last week, I think it has a lot of potential. Although we are not in the 21, me and Gary are continuing the Michelin development programme"
"I had a pretty uneventful week at the test, as there were no issues or stoppages for me, however it was a really useful weeks testing. We are getting some good feedback from the on-going Michelin work and as the weather has improved during the week, the conditions have become more favourable for the programme we had to complete."
Drivers: Juan Pablo Montoya and Pedro de la Rosa
Laps run today: 167
Kilometres covered today: Juan Pablo Montoya approx. 280km / Pedro de la Rosa approx. 380km
Best lap time of the day and week: Fernando Alonso, Renault, 1m10.552
Total number of laps driven during the test: 573
Total number of laps driven during the test in the MP4-21: 227
Total number of km driven during the test: 2250km (Kimi 105km, Juan Pablo 785km, Pedro 740km, Gary 620km)
Total number of km driven during the test by the MP4-21: 890