A cautious start for the new MP4-26 as the team spent much of the day undertaking rigorous checks during the first day of track testing.
In the morning, we focused on short runs to enable Lewis and the engineers to run through a number of systems checks and make small set-up and tyre-compound changes in order to gauge the car’s reaction to adjustments.
At lunchtime, the car was routinely stripped for a more thorough check of the new systems, returning to the track for the final hour’s running.
While the day’s programme ran as planned without the engagement of the drag reduction system, the latter part of the day saw us running our new hybrid system for the first time.
Lewis completed 58 laps without problem and the team declared itself satisfied with the first day. Jenson begins testing tomorrow as we put more miles on the new car and ramp up our testing programme.
Lewis said: “Today was mainly about checking the car – not the most exciting day, but it was important to make sure everything was running okay.
“We didn’t do any particularly long runs, and I wasn’t too aggressive with the car, but we learned a couple of useful things. The car feels good compared to last year’s, which is positive. It feels like a good step over MP4-25.”