Alex Wurz and Pedro de la Rosa were at the wheel today (Saturday) for Team McLaren Mercedes’ final and fourth day of this week’s test. Pedro, who was running with a power reduced V10 engine, set the second fastest time of the day with a 1m19.536. Alex was fifth on the timesheets, with a 1m20.217.
With near perfect weather conditions at the Jerez circuit in Spain, the team have completed a successful week in the intensive development programme for the new McLaren Mercedes MP4-21. Work for Alex Wurz, Pedro de la Rosa and Gary Paffett during the four days of the test focused on engine evaluation and Michelin tyre work in their MP4-20B interim cars. During this four day test the drivers completed 636 laps, which equates to more than 2,800 kms.
Alex had an accident on Thursday which caused some damage to his car, which was repaired by the team over four hours and the Austrian returned to the track. In the afternoon on Thursday, both Gary and Alex had engine failures. Gary’s led to his rear wheels locking on the main straight and saw the car spin backwards into a wall causing significant damage to the rear of the car.
Alex and Pedro were both present for three days and completed 988 and 1,216kms in total respectively. Gary was on track for two days and completed approximately 600kms.
Team McLaren Mercedes will remain at the Circuito de Jerez for the final test before the Christmas break next week, which begins on Tuesday 13th and lasts for three days. Pedro will be joined in Spain by Juan Pablo Montoya. During the test sessions in Barcelona starting November 28, and the four days in Jerez, the team accumulated some 3,200kms on their new V8 engine.
Pedro de la Rosa
“It has been a productive week in Jerez, with myself, Alex and Gary completing in four days over 2,800kms. My work yesterday and today has focused on tyre comparison with Michelin, as I have been running a V10 engine, and we have gathered valuable data. I am looking forward to the test next week where we can continue the good progress before breaking for Christmas.”
“The last two days of testing for me have gone well; only today I covered 500kms with the Mercedes-Benz V8 engine. We have finished our planned programme on both days and have some positive feedback concerning the overall development programme. After my incident Tuesday was not a perfect day for myself and the team, as we didn’t get in as much running as we would have hoped, but it still has been a good week with lots of laps.”
“It was great to put in another two days of testing with Team McLaren Mercedes this week. I completed in two days over 600kms in the MP4-20B and more than 300km the at one day the week before in Barcelona, which in addition to working on the development programme with the team, has continued to provide me with more Formula One experience.”