“We’re working hard to get on top of the issues and I hope we can make a step forward FOR MELBOURNE”


Thursday 9 march 2017



Driver Stoffel Vandoorne

Location Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya (4.655km/2.892 miles)

Laps/km/miles 48/223km/139miles

Best lap-time 1m21.348s





Stoffel got back behind the wheel for his final day of pre-season testing today in Barcelona. The morning started well, with more aero correlation and data gathering consistent with the programme undertaken each morning on previous test days. The team also completed work on power unit settings and set-up configurations.

After 24 laps, Stoffel lost electrical power to the car and stopped out on track. Once back in the garage, the team ran diagnostics, restarted the car, and Stoffel returned to the cockpit for a further nine laps.

The issue reappeared shortly before lunch, bringing Stoffel to a halt on track once again, and leading to another set of red flags. The team then elected to strip down the car to investigate further and replace various electrical components – although the origin of the issue couldn’t be identified.

Stoffel returned to the track at 15:45, completing more runs with different handling settings, and running through set-up procedures required in preparation for Melbourne.

Stoffel finished the day on 48 laps, and will hand over the reins to Fernando in the morning for the final day of the test.





“It’s not been the best test for us in terms of mileage over the four days I’ve had in the car, but it’s all part of the learning. I feel positive and confident in the car – when I’m out on track I feel comfortable to push straight away and get the maximum out of it. We’ve had some problems and it’s far from an ideal situation, but we’re aware of it and we’re working very hard to make sure we make big improvements before we go to Melbourne.

“It’s difficult to know exactly where our pace is. There are a lot of things that we’re focusing on and a lot of procedures we’re going through, so we’re working hard to get on top of the issues and I hope we can make a step forward for Melbourne.

“I feel 100% ready; over the past couple of years I’ve had very good preparation with McLaren. Even though I haven’t had the mileage in the car that I would’ve liked, I’m still very excited. I’ll prepare very hard with the team over the next week, spend some more time in the simulator and go through the data we have brought back from the test, and hopefully we can go to Melbourne with some upgrades and some positive signs.”


Eric Boullier





“Today started productively, and we again managed to complete some good sections of our aero testing programme and Melbourne set-up preparation. Stoffel provided us with excellent feedback and we’re gradually making progress as we move closer to the first race of the season.

“Unfortunately, an electrical issue halted our momentum, and we experienced it twice within a few laps just before lunch. We believe it was the same issue both times, but we don’t know yet what happened. We spent a lot of time checking the car over and Stoffel got back on track in the afternoon, but we opted to finish our programme slightly early as a precaution and to avoid the same issue recurring.

“Overnight, we’ll be hard at work preparing our chassis for the final day of running tomorrow. We’re hoping to get some solid track time as it’ll be our last chance before Australia. The most important aim for any day of testing is to learn a lot about the car and validate what our simulations tell us, and so far, that’s going in the right direction. We’re due some better luck on the reliability front, and we’ll be pushing as hard as ever to make the most of the final pre-season track session tomorrow.”


Yusuke Hasegawa


Honda R&D Co. Ltd Head of F1 Project & Executive Chief Engineer



“It was a challenging day for us today. Our track time was somewhat limited after detecting an electronical issue during Stoffel’s morning session, but it was encouraging once again how incredibly hard the team worked to enable Stoffel to head back out on track in the afternoon. The issue is now under investigation to find the root cause.

“Facing these issues is of course not ideal, since it forces us to use our time in the garage, but this is testing and the more time we have, the more we learn.

“After finishing seven days of winter testing, we now have good insights into how the car and power unit function as a whole package, and we’ll continue to run through our testing programme tomorrow and make up for lost time.

“Friday will be another busy day for us, since it’s necessary for us to gather as much data as possible before Melbourne, and we’ll put all of our effort into the last day of testing.


Today’s times



1. Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1:19.024 156 laps

2. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:19.352 52 laps

3. Esteban Ocon Force India 1:20.161 137 laps

4. Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso 1:20.416 94 laps

5. Kevin Magnussen Haas 1:20.504 119 laps

6. Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull Racing 1:20.824 128 laps

7. Stoffel Vandoorne McLaren-Honda 1:21.348 48 laps 

8. Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1:21.819 95 laps

9. Pascal Wehrlein Sauber 1:22.347 44 laps

10. Jolyon Palmer Renault 1:22.418 53 laps

11. Marcus Ericsson Sauber 1:23.330 88 laps

12. Felipe Massa Williams 1:24.443 80 laps

13. Lance Stroll Williams 1:24.863 85 laps


What’s next?



Fernando Alonso returns to the cockpit tomorrow for the final day of the second week of pre-season testing.


Test dates



Four days (Tuesday 7 – Friday 10 March).