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McLaren won't race new rear wing in China

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McLaren won't race new rear wing in China
By:
Apr 8, 2017, 12:31 PM

McLaren will not race with its new rear wing in the Chinese Grand Prix after discovering it needed more work, but hopes to bring it back for next weekend’s race in Bahrain.

Both Fernando Alonso and Stoffel Vandoorne trialled the new design during Saturday morning’s final free practice session.

But with the team not completely happy with how it was working, it elected to revert to its older specification for qualifying – a move that appeared well justified with Alonso ending up 13th overall.

McLaren racing director Eric Boullier said the focus would be on tweaking the design for Bahrain, with the team happy with the other changes it has made to its chassis for China.

Speaking about the situation, Boullier said: “We actually ran it on both cars this morning, but because we have some little issues to fix, we decided to not race it. So it didn’t run it in qualifying.

“But it is going to be back next week I guess in Bahrain. For all the other upgrades, yes they did work.”

Better than expected

Alonso admitted that the pace of the car in practice had left him downbeat about his prospects for qualifying, which is why he was pleased to have got through to Q2 and missing out on Q3 by three-tenths of a second.

“Yeah, definitely much better than expected," he said. “We are running in FP3 with all the full potential more or less and we were quite uncompetitive.

“So we entered qualifying with a little bit of pessimism, and a little bit worried that Q1 that was our target today.

“But we picked up the pace in qualifying and the car behaved okay. It was a surprise to be P10 in Q1 and also P13 in Q2.

“Now it is up to us to capitalise on this, and tomorrow try to get the maximum from this position and hopefully be in the points.”

Vandoorne, who ended up qualifying 16th, blamed a ‘scrappy’ lap for him having failed to make it through to Q2.

“We were a little bit compromised getting out of the garage and lost a little bit of time at the start of the session,” said the Belgian. “So it was a little bit of a rush and from my side.

“The lap was a little bit scrappy as well so definitely I felt there was the opportunity to be in Q2 today. I think with Fernnado in 13th we were more or less on for a similar pace, so it is unfortunate but I think there are some positives at least."

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