Although the McLaren Honda team had a relatively problem free first day of play at the Albert Park Circuit in Melbourne, their times for the day certainly left a lot to be desired with Fernando Alonso finishing in 14th and new rookie racer Stoffel Vandoorne trailing at the back of the field in 20th and last place in the first session and moving into 17th for the second..
The team spent the first session focusing on capturing aero data, fitting large aero rakes to Stoffel Vandoorne’s car for the opening run. For FP2, the engineers worked on set-up balance before switching to tyre evaluation work over a long run.
The feeling with the car was OK today,” he said. "Obviously, I missed a little bit of running in FP1, but I think we had a very good FP2, catching up on mileage. Getting laps was my main focus today – I wanted to get some times on the board, do some longer runs, and get a better understanding about the package we have.”
“It’s very difficult to predict where we’ll qualify tomorrow: I’m not really looking at the lap times at the moment; it’s more about the feeling, for me. I’m still finding time in the car on every lap, feeling more comfortable, and I’m happy that the set-up changes are going in the right direction.”
“I made a big improvement from FP1 to FP2, so hopefully tomorrow will be another step forward.”
Fernando Alonso finished the second session in 12th position…
“Relative to winter testing, we had fewer issues today than we had in Barcelona,” the Spaniard said. “We could run a little bit more, so we were able to extract more potential from the car – that’s positive. Still, there’s definitely more to come, and we still need to keep working because we’re quite far away from the front-runners in terms of lap time.”
“Every time we were on track today, though, we learned something. We were also able to test some new components, and they seem to be working fine, which is positive. There’s still a lot more to come from us, and we need to maximise our potential.”