CIRCUIT DE BARCELONA-CATALUNYA, TUESDAY FEBRUARY 23, 2016

Date Tuesday 23 February 2016
Driver Fernando Alonso
Location Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya (4.655km/2.892 miles)
Laps/km/miles 119/554km/344 miles
Best lap-time 1m26.082s

Programme
Fernando Alonso got behind the wheel of the McLaren-Honda MP4-31 for the first time today, on the second day of pre-season testing in 2016.

Fernando’s run programme was an extension of that which had been started by Jenson the day before: data gathering, systems and electronics checks, and evaluation of engine modes.

In addition, the team completed preliminary tests of the aero package, to correlate the data between winter preparation programmes and on-track behaviour.

Once again, the focus was on the integration and evaluation of the MP4-31’s new systems, and completing as much mileage as possible. All in all, the run programme was completed satisfactorily, and Fernando clocked 119 trouble-free laps on his first day in the car.

Jenson resumes driving duties tomorrow, where the programme will be a continuation of today’s schedule.

Fernando Alonso
“After a long break, it’s good to be back, and to complete a good number of laps – something I missed this time last year.

“The first priority for the team this winter was to make sure we went through the problems we had last year and find some solutions, and we’ve done this, at least on the reliability side. I’m proud of the team and the job that everyone has done together on this car. I enjoyed today, but I think there is performance we need to unlock in the car.

“Most of the laps we did today were for aerodynamics studies, and reliability studies: brake temperatures, water temperatures, etc. For a driver, these are things that are not very exciting, so I’m looking forward to doing some setup changes and running with different fuel levels to really enjoy the driving as well.

“On the aerodynamic side, there are a lot of parts that are quite new for us, so we need a little bit of time to mature the package, and the same on the power unit, too. For us, last year we learned a lot, and now with a completely new philosophy we still need a bit of time to understand everything and exploit its potential.”

Matt Morris
Director of Engineering
“We had a good day with regard to reliability again; enjoying two days with no serious reliability issues has been a real positive.

“Today we spent most of the morning performing aero characterisation work, which required a lot of the instrumentation on the car. Although this part of the testing is time-consuming, we have gained confidence that the chassis is delivering as expected, such that we can now move on to looking to exploit the performance potential.

“This afternoon we spent some time doing basic set-up work, running through control systems and characterising the chassis, as a continuation of yesterday’s work with Jenson. We also ran through a number of different engine modes on the power unit to check functionality and integration, which went very smoothly and provided us with useful data. Most of the day was spent running at the harder end of tyre compound scale, so we shouldn’t read too much into the absolute lap times.

“We completed everything we had planned for our programme for today, and a little bit more besides, so, overall, another very positive day of running under our belts.”

Satoshi Nakamura
Honda R&D Co Ltd principal engineer
“Today’s testing target was to do continuous laps at a steady pace so we could gauge the harvest and deployment of the power unit, and perform all energy management system checks.

“Thanks to the team’s hard work and Fernando’s focus in the cockpit, the 119 laps on track gave us plenty of feedback to finish today’s planned running programme early. I am pleased to say that we will have lots of data to look through tonight and tomorrow onwards.”

Today’s unofficial testing times
1. Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1:22.810 126 laps
2. Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull 1:23.525 112 laps
3. Sergio Perez Force India 1:23.650 101 laps
4. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:24.867 172 laps
5. Marcus Ericsson Sauber 1:25.237 108 laps
6. Esteban Gutierrez Haas 1:25.524 79 laps
7. Valtteri Bottas Williams 1:25.648 134 laps
8. Pascal Wehrlein Manor 1:25.925 71 laps
9. Fernando Alonso McLaren 1:26.082 119 laps
10. Jolyon Palmer Renault 1:26.189 42 laps
11. Max Verstappen Toro Rosso 1:26.539 121 laps

What’s next?
Jenson Button steps into the MP4-31 again tomorrow for his final outing at the first Barcelona test.

Test dates
Four days (Monday 22 February – Thursday 25 February).