McLaren boss Andreas Seidl says his team has had its “best start” to testing for many years, as it plans to bring a batch of updates to Barcelona next week.
The Woking-based team, which will face a tough fight for fourth in the constructors’ championship this year, concentrated more on reliability running this week so did not set any headline-grabbing times.
However, Seidl says he is overjoyed with the way the first test went, especially because it did not suffer any major mechanical problems.
“To be honest, we’re really, really, really happy with how it went so far, for various reasons,” he explained. “First of all, if you look at the number of laps and the reliability we have shown so far, it is by far the best start for many, many years for McLaren going into a winter test.
“This is simply great reward and a sign for the entire team that all the hard work we have put in the last month in order to make this step is paying off, so I’m very happy about that. In terms of program and test points, I’m also very happy that we could tick off a lot of boxes already of our job list.
“Without having these reliability topics, we simply could go through the run plan every day as planned.”
Although Carlos Sainz’s best lap of the week was 12th-fastest overall, Seidl says that timesheets mattered little for the team so far.
“We focus on ourselves, we don’t focus on laptimes and so on,” he said. “We continuously bring parts to the car as well, with late deliveries back from the factory.
“It’s great to see this momentum that we are having. As you have seen [on Friday], we tried a new front wing for example in the morning. And so far the car is doing what we expect from it. So it’s great to see this correlation. I’m very happy.”
With the focus on understanding the car in week one, Seidl said that there will be a push next week to bring developments that can put McLaren in good stead for the season opener in Australia.
“We have a program lined up with continuously bringing parts to the track, also next week in order to get as much performance out of the car as possible before we head to Melbourne.
“In terms of the performance, so far I think it’s still early days. We’re happy with what we have seen so far. The car was, as I said before, performing as intended, so we don’t have question marks on this.”
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