Team McLaren Mercedes race drivers, Kimi Raikkonen and Juan Pablo Montoya, today began an intensive three day test at Barcelona’s Circuit de Catalunya in Spain.
The two drivers were at the wheel of the MP4-21s they will race at the opening Grand Prix in Bahrain on Sunday 12th March. The cars will test this week before returning to the McLaren Technology Centre to be rebuilt and freighted to the Bahrain International Circuit.
Running during the morning was limited because of the cold weather conditions, with ambient temperatures rising above 10 degrees Centigrade for the first time at 11am.
The programme for the week is focused on continuing long runs and set-up work. Today’s session saw Kimi cover 270km over the course of 59 laps. The Finn put in the second fastest time of the day, with a 1m17.789. During the morning, Kimi completed two 20 lap runs, evaluating different Michelin tyres on each run.
Team-mate Juan Pablo completed over 100kms in his MP4-21. Juan Pablo had a transmission issue early in the afternoon, which the team were working on rectifying, however the decision was taken to end his running for the day early due to a heavy fall of rain shortly afterwards. With wet track conditions, technical feedback from running is limited and as drizzle continued for the remainder of the day, Kimi ventured out of the garage only on a couple of occasions to complete some practise launches in the damp conditions.
Testing will continue for the team in Barcelona tomorrow, with Kimi and Juan Pablo present.