Day one on March 1, saw Fernando Alonso take the controls. After missing out on day four last week, he was keen and ready to go. He had a good steady run completing 93 laps with a best time of 1:24.735. He finished the day in third place, somewhere McLaren haven’t been for a long time. He commented on his day saying: “After the disappointment of not being able to complete much running at the end of last week’s test, it was positive to get so many laps on the board today. We tested a number of different configurations and spent a lot of time working on the power unit and collecting data from the aerodynamics”.
On day two, Jenson Button took over the controls. He backed upped Alonso’s fine form and finished a strong fifth place overall for day two. He completed 121 laps with the fastest time being a 1:25.183. He spent the day testing engine modes, balance and set up. Winds increased late in the afternoon and affected the balance of the car, but McLaren soldiered on. Button commented on his day saying: “The important thing is that we’ve been able to do quite a few laps over the last two days – we know we need to keep pushing in terms of reliability so that we can reduce any niggly problems at the first race. In terms of set-up work this afternoon, it was quite difficult because it was so windy out there, and I don’t think it was just us that were affected”.
McLaren’s 2016 testing has so far been positive, apart from Day four of the first test. They have improved significantly over last year, where they appeared to really struggle for engine reliability. McLaren spent most of 2015 as a backmarker team who scored points when other teams failed to. Throughout the season they struggled with reliability and angry drivers. When both were under control, they sadly had no speed. They finished ninth in the World Constructors Championship, with Manor being the only team behind them.
So far the team has had only positives in the season and really look like they could be fighting for ninth all the way up to fifth in the World Constructors Championship. With the experienced driver line up of Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button anything is possible.