F1: Jerez Test Day 3: Mileage a ‘huge relief’ for McLaren

Racing director Eric Boullier said McLaren’s 32 laps on Tuesday were a “huge relief” after tracking down and fixing the problem that kept the team from running more than 12 laps on the first two days of testing in Jerez.

Even though the day was stopped short when a water leak popped up and forced the team to remove the Honda engine, Boullier said McLaren counted Tuesday’s efforts as progress. The team is expecting to be running again on Wednesday morning.

“It was very important and a huge relief,” Boullier said. “Ever since last night we are a little bit happier after the last lap of Jenson [on Monday] because we believed we had fixed the issues, but as I said yesterday, sometimes you just open the Pandora’s box and you pick up one and another one is coming. This morning it was just a relief to see the car getting out of the garage at 9:00 and running actually faultlessly for a few hours.”

Boullier said McLaren could have got the car back out on track at the end of the day but the team decided to focus its efforts on Wednesday.

“[Today] was a completely different. The reason why we didn’t run in the afternoon is different. It’s a third party component that created a water cooling leak. We had to take the engine open and everything to change it because it’s in the middle. We could have run, maybe, half an hour at the end of the day but we decided to stop the day and run properly tomorrow. The main issues are now away.”

However, to give an indication of how far behind McLaren is at this stage, Boullier said the team had completed less than 50% of its target for this test.

“It’s not enough, obviously. We are maybe less than 50%. But it’s better than nothing and at least operationally we have covered everything we wanted. The good thing as well is that the car is running, as you saw in the morning, 10 laps in a row so we have no design concept or conceptual issues or architectural issues with the car. The cooling is working, everything is fine.”

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