Barcelona Day 1: McLaren review
7 May, 2010
May.7 (YF1) Vodafone McLaren Mercedes duo of Lewis hamilton and Jenson Button topped the timing screens at the end of the first free parctice of the Spanish Grand Prix in Barcelona. Here is the team’s report after the first day.
Lewis Hamilton: “It was quite windy today, so, despite running right through our programme, we struggled a little bit, particularly at the end when we changed to the Option tyre and encountered a bit of traffic. The new parts have definitely given us a step forward, but we don’t yet know how big that step is compared to our rivals.
Generally, however, the car doesn’t feel too bad. Hopefully, we’ll be able to make some further set-up changes overnight, too. Tomorrow we’ll just be focusing on our programme, pushing the envelope, and analysing everything we can to make sure we’re as competitive as we can possibly be.”
Jenson Button: “I think we’ve still got a little bit of work to do, to be honest. I didn’t get as much running done this morning as I would have liked because I hit something coming out of the pits – probably a small part of a car, which damaged one of my car’s bargeboards.
We embarked on some set-up changes that we thought were headed in the right direction, but I’m not sure if they were. So there’s a lot of work still to be done on both tyres – some of it is possibly set-up, and some of it is getting the tyres in their correct working range.
This afternoon was a very tricky session. A few teams were already getting their cars to work well, so we should be able to get there too. But there’s a lot to be done this evening to figure out exactly why our car didn’t feel as we expected it to. I don’t think it’s an issue of the new components working or not, I think it’s more about not turning the tyres on properly, or not working them in the correct way.
We’ve got a lot of data to go through, but I’m certain we can make some improvements and come back with a stronger car for tomorrow.”
Martin Whitmarsh, Team principal, Vodafone McLaren Mercedes: “We certainly come away from today’s two sessions armed with a considerable amount of data to sift through ahead of third practice and qualifying tomorrow. Today’s uncharacteristically chilly weather, and the resultant difficulties we encountered in adapting the set-up to best suit the conditions, meant that neither Jenson nor Lewis felt entirely happy with their cars by the end of second practice.
As a result, we’ll place even greater emphasis on an examination of the data before tomorrow. We’re confident that our car has the potential to be well suited to this circuit, and that this afternoon’s pace was not fully representative of our expected race performance.
Finally, it was a very proud moment to see the Circuit de Catalunya and the people of Spain commemorating Jenson’s world title by inducting him into their Champions’ Avenue parade this afternoon. We’ve got some extremely happy memories of racing here, and we think both Jenson and Lewis are doing the very best possible job to ensure that we’re in the hunt for both 2010 world championships.”