McLaren’s F1 team boss Andreas Seidl says they had the best start to preseason testing in recent years and were able to accomplish everything they planned thanks to a very reliable car.
In the first three days of testing, McLaren did not set striking laptimes, but was collecting miles to gather as much information as possible about the new MCL35, which is expected to defend fourth place in the 2019 constructors’ championship.
The Woking based team drove 423 laps in three days, an average of 141 laps per day, or 85.63% of Mercedes’ laps, which is arguably their best result in recent years.
“Honestly, we’re very, very happy about how things went so far, for different reasons,” Seidl said.
“First, if you look at the number of laps and the reliability we’ve shown, it’s by far the best start to winter testing in many, many years for McLaren.”
“This is a great reward and a sign for the whole team that the hard work we’ve put in over the last month is paying off, so I’m really happy about that.”
“As for the test programme, I’m also very happy that we’ve done a lot of things already. Without reliability issues, we were able to go through our plan every day.”
Although they did not focus on performance and only had the 7th fastest time among ten teams (+ 2.1s behind Mercedes), they are pleased as they were not looking for performance in the first week.
“We focus on ourselves, not on the laptimes. We are constantly bringing parts to the car, with late deliveries from the factory. It’s great to see that we have the momentum like that.”
“On Friday, we tried out a new front wing, and for now, the car is doing what it’s expected. It’s great to see that correlation [between simulations and real data]. I’m very happy.”
“We have a program that will continually bring parts to the track, starting next week, to get as much performance out of the car as possible before Melbourne.”