2016 BARCELONA TEST REPORT – DAY THREE

CIRCUIT DE BARCELONA-CATALUNYA, WEDNESDAY FEBRUARY 24, 2016

Date Wednesday 24 February 2016
Driver Jenson Button
Location Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya (4.655km/2.892 miles)
Laps/km/miles 51/237km/147miles
Best lap-time 1m26.919s

Programme
Jenson Button resumed testing duties in the McLaren-Honda MP4-31 today. Like the previous two days, the weather started off cloudy and chilly, before becoming brighter and warmer as the day progressed.

Today’s running was a tale of two halves. The morning session continued where Fernando left off yesterday, testing a number of components, performing characterisation of the power unit, and correlating aerodynamic data. The team successfully completed the morning’s run programme before pausing for the lunch break.

Over lunch, a number of settings were changed on the car to prepare for longer runs in the afternoon. The programme was curtailed shortly after 14:30 due to a hydraulic leak, which caused a small fire under the bodywork and a brief moment of drama in the pit lane, as Jenson was unable to stop in the pit box on his in-lap. Fortunately, Jenson is fine and there is no damage to the car.

The team immediately began sourcing the origin of the issue, but it meant the day’s running finished early while the problem was being investigated and rectified. In total, we completed 51 laps on track, executing a number of useful checks and testing procedures, and gathering more valuable data.

Jenson Button
“We ran through our normal programme of checks and changes this morning before the hydraulic problem stopped us early this afternoon. It’s not so good to miss out on this afternoon’s running, but it’s testing. Hopefully we can learn from the issue and the team can get a good day’s testing with Fernando tomorrow.”

Eric Boullier
Racing Director
“This morning we focussed once again on system checks, which is our plan for all four days of the first test. That went very smoothly and we managed to complete a number of configuration and setting changes on the car between runs.
“Before lunch, we had actually completed our full morning programme, which was satisfying. After the break, as we were starting a longer, race simulation run, we had an unfortunate hydraulic leak, which created a small fire in the back of the car. There’s no damage, just some checks and repairs needed. This is why we are testing: to check our systems, so we are investigating the issue now and we hope to be back to our pre-planned programme tomorrow morning.”

Satoshi Nakamura
Honda R&D Co Ltd principal engineer
“This morning’s testing had been an extension of yesterday’s running programme: confirming different engine modes and energy management status of the power unit.
“Early on in the afternoon session, the car experienced a hydraulic leak so we were unable to do further laps on track. The issue is still under investigation, but we will analyse the 51 laps of data that we were able to perform today and prepare for tomorrow’s running.”

Today’s unofficial testing times
1. Nico Hulkenberg Force India 1:23.110 99 laps
2. Romain Grosjean Haas 1:25.874 82 laps
3. Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1:25.977 78 laps
4. Kevin Magnussen Renault 1:26.014 111 laps
5. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:26.084 74 laps
6. Carlos Sainz Toro Rosso 1:26.239 161 laps
7. Felipe Nasr Sauber 1:26.392 115 laps
8. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:26.421 88 laps
9. Daniil Kvyat Red Bull 1:26.497 74 laps
10. Felipe Massa Williams 1:26.712 109 laps
11. Jenson Button McLaren 1:26.919 51 laps
12. Rio Haryanto Manor 1:29.249 78 laps

What’s next?
Fernando Alonso gets back behind the wheel tomorrow for the fourth and final day of the first pre-season test.

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