McLaren plays down initial test issues

By on Tuesday, November 25, 2014
McLaren Honda

McLaren Honda

McLaren has downplayed the issues which affected its first public day of running with Honda at the post-race test in Abu Dhabi.

Test driver Stoffel Vandoorne was unable to head out on track during the morning session due to an electronics issue and his afternoon running was disrupted by a fuel/data exchange issue.

Vandoorne ultimately recorded three untimed laps in the MP4-29H/1X1 but the team emphasised that this week's test is about understanding the new Honda Power Unit.

"Running a modern Formula 1 car is a very complicated procedure – and this week’s test is all about how the departments at Sakura, Milton Keynes and Woking learn to work with the operational hub at the circuit," said racing director Eric Boullier.

"This test is an opportunity for us to build up that operational strength; to get McLaren and Honda working together under the same roof. We encountered a number of issues, including a lengthy check of electrical installations this morning, but it’s satisfying to see that we got the engine fired up, the car out of the garage, and some laps on the board in the afternoon.

"We’re not chasing laptimes this week, it’s just about gradually expanding our knowledge. Tomorrow will hopefully be all about conducting longer runs as we learn about different parts of the engine, and run through each separate system."

Yasuhisa Arai, Honda's chief motorsport officer, stressed that the manufacturer's Power Unit still requires some development.

"This week’s test is really all about performing some fundamental systems checks on the engine before we begin testing in earnest next February," he said. "When I was at Jerez earlier this year, I noticed just how many issues the teams faced in readying these turbo engines, so we really wanted to get those initial checks under our belts before winter testing starts in 2015.

"The engine we used today is still under development – it’s not for the actual race – and we’re on schedule to develop it further ahead of the forthcoming season. There are a few more steps coming before Australia."

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