Fernando Alonso happy with Austria test after McLaren run reliably
Alonso and Vandoorne complete 181 laps between them across the two days as team run new short nose and revised wings on MP4-30
By James Galloway
Last Updated: 25/06/15 11:17am
Fernando Alonso believes McLaren enjoyed a “positive” two days of testing with their troubled Honda-powered car in Austria after the team racked up nearly 200 laps.
Although the final in-season test of the year represented the opportunity for all nine teams present to complete some more useful running with their 2015 challengers, the two days were particularly crucial for McLaren and engine suppliers Honda who have struggled badly for both performance and reliability since their reunion at the start of the season.
After test driver Stoffel Vandoorne on Tuesday completed what were described as 77 “trouble-free” laps despite a morning downpour disrupting running for the field, Alonso returned to the MP4-30 exactly three days after his frightening lap-one crash with Kimi Raikkonen and racked up 104 tours around the Red Bull Ring – 42 more than he managed during the entire race weekend.
The Spaniard spent the day testing the new shorter nose introduced at the race weekend as well as new rear and front wings sampled by Vandoorne on Day One. And with Alonso having retired from the last four races, he was pleased with the apparent clean bill of reliability health.
“Today was a positive day. The most important thing was to put some laps on the car after the problems we’ve had in the last couple of races,” he said after finishing seventh on the timesheet in a best time of 1:10.718, 1.6 seconds off Mercedes’ pace.
“We managed to complete more than 100 laps, and, together with Stoffel’s laps yesterday, I think we finished the test with some good information.
“Now, we need to go back to the factory and analyse everything, but we definitely have a lot of data to go forward with. I’m pretty happy with how the test has gone.”
Having taken tactical engine penalties in Austria to try and ensure they endure trouble-free weekends at Silverstone, the team's home race, and the tight and twisty Hungaroring, where the MP4-30 should be more suited, McLaren are pleased with the data they've gathered during testing.
“Overall, we were able to make the most of the good weather and dry track conditions to complete solid sections of the test programme to our satisfaction,” Dave Redding, McLaren’s team manager, said.
“Both days of the test have been productive – and most importantly, reliable – and we are now armed with lots of valuable data and useful feedback from both drivers, that we can take away and analyse in preparation for the next two races before the summer break.”