Formula 1’s final preseason test is underway in Bareclona. McLaren Honda is trying to make the best of a bad situation by using a McLaren-sourced MGU-K seal while Honda develops a better piece and, perhaps more significantly, has called up Kevin Magnussen to replace the recovering Fernando Alonso.
Troubles continue for McLaren Honda as the team completed only 7 laps today before a hydraulic issue sidelined the car until tomorrow while the Power Unit is changed. Jenson Button didn’t have time to get the MP4-30 up to speed before the problem occurred as evidence by his slow lap time of 1:31.479. Meanwhile, Filipe Massa set the best time seen at Barcelona this year driving the Williams to a 1:23.500. Jenson resumes testing tomorrow for what will hopefully be a better day for McLaren Honda.
Today represented a breakthrough of sorts for McLaren Honda. Not only did Jenson Button pilot the MP4-30 to its first 100+ lap day, the Brit clocked a very respectable [albeit mid-pack] time of 1:25.590. The day wasn’t completely without issue, though, as the MP4-30 stopped on its 102nd lap due to what the team is calling a minor electrical issue. Mercedes finally showed its hand today with Nico Rosberg setting a 1:22.792, the fastest time at Barcelona thus far. Testing resumes tomorrow when Kevin Magnussen takes the wheel for McLaren Honda.
Kevin Magnussen took the wheel of the MP4-30 for the first time yesterday and showed some speed as he drove the car to its fastest lap yet during the morning session. However the problems returned for McLaren Honda and the car was parked during the afternoon session due to an oil leak. By the end of the day most teams were able to complete runs on the soft or super soft tire and were able to surpass Magnussen’s time of 1:25.225 while the McLaren was parked. Fastest of the day was Lewis Hamilton with a 1:23.022.
The final day of testing was marked by issues which prevented the team from running the first half of the day while they replaced and engine. Button made it out in the afternoon session but could only manage 30 laps with a best time of 1:25.327. Fastest of the day goes to Valtteri Bottas with a 1:23.063. Today was the last testing opportunity before the Australian Grand Prix on March 15th.