The start of the second and final pre-season test ahead of the 2017 Formula One season opener was a challenging but ultimately productive day on track for the McLaren Honda team.
Rookie racer Stoffel Vandoorne took to the track shortly after 09:00, and the team worked progressively through its test programme, which featured more aero correlation, tyre testing and balance and handling evaluations.
Shortly after midday, Honda detected an electrical anomaly in the power unit, and, in order to investigate further, elected to undertake yet another complete PU change.
The team worked extremely efficiently to get the car back up and running – the engine change taking less than four hours – allowing Stoffel to return to the track shortly before 16:00.
In the afternoon session, the team completed more useful mileage, conducting aero tests and simulation of the type of running expected in Melbourne. Stoffel completed 80 laps by the time the chequered flag fell at 18:00.
“Today was certainly a day of mixed fortunes for us. Having another issue with the power unit has been of course frustrating for everybody, but the team dealt with it extremely well and I’m pleased we managed to get back out on track this afternoon,” Stoffel said. “Losing track time is obviously not ideal, but when we were on track we actually managed to get a large chunk of our test programme done, and we learned a lot more about the car today.”
"We tried a lot of different things with the aero, balance and set-up, and also went through a lot of procedures and car behaviours that I will need to prepare in time for Australia. It hasn’t been the ideal way to start the second test, but considering the issue we’ve had, we’ve still managed to complete a good number of laps, and we go into tomorrow hoping for more track time and more solid data that we can take forward to Melbourne.”