Team McLaren Mercedes’ test at the Circuit de Catalunya, in Barcelona, Spain, ended today with Kimi Raikkonen and Juan Pablo Montoya completing just under 1000km during the final session of the week.
Both drivers were continuing the programme for the week, which had seen the team focus on set-up work alongside putting significant mileage onto the two MP4-21s that were in Spain.
Juan Pablo set a fastest time of 1m14.587 over the course of 131 laps, which was the largest total for the day of all 14 drivers on track. Kimi put in a 1m15.475 as he covered 80 laps. Today saw Kimi and Juan Pablo complete 370km and 605km respectively, taking their joint total for the three day session to 2198km in the two MP4-21s.
Work began on Tuesday at the Circuit de Catalunya, with the day dominated by cold weather conditions in the morning and rain in the afternoon, any meaningful running was restricted to the late morning. Despite this, the Team McLaren Mercedes drivers covered nearly 400km between them. Kimi only ventured out on a couple of one lap runs to complete practice launches in the afternoon.
Wednesday saw the weather improve and after the track had dried out properly, Kimi and Juan Pablo began racking up the miles. As always with multi-team tests, running was affected by red flag stoppages, nine in total on Tuesday caused by the other teams. Although the track was closed about 20% of the day, the Team McLaren Mercedes test team had a productive day covering over 840km without incident, and Kimi topped the timesheets with a 1m15.224.
Testing will continue next week in Valencia with an MP4-21 and an MP4-20, as the two cars that were being run this week are returning to the McLaren Technology Centre before leaving in the freight for the Bahrain Grand Prix.
Pedro will be at the wheel of the MP4-21 on Monday 27th February alongside Gary Paffett in the 20. Kimi will join the test for Tuesday 28th February and Wednesday 1st March in the MP4-21, with Pedro taking over duties in the MP4-20 for the final two days.
Juan Pablo Montoya
“We’ve done a lot of good work this week, there have been a few problems with the wet weather and a couple of small glitches with the car, but generally it has been a productive week. It has also been quite cold here in Barcelona, which means that you aren’t getting the full performance, and also everyone is testing different things. So it is difficult to compare the performances of the teams testing here during the week.”
“I feel that we have improved a lot over the last few weeks, we are continuing to develop the car to find the speed and reliability that we need and we are moving in a good direction. We have covered some really good distances this week in Barcelona, but we need to keep pushing as there is still work to be done.”