F1 Testing: McLaren have productive first day at Bahrain

F1 Testing: McLaren have productive first day at Bahrain

F1 testing has gotten underway in Bahrain, with McLaren working through all planned test programs without a hitch.

The Formula 1 season is that much closer, as F1 testing gets underway in Bahrain. Day one is in the books. With a further two days of testing scheduled prior to the commencement of the season later this month.

McLaren managed to work their way through all the planned test items set out for the day. Suffering no significant mechanical issues, unlike their Mercedes competitors, who experienced a setback after experiencing gearbox issues.

Friday’s F1 testing is the first time the team have gotten the opportunity to properly run in the MCL35M. After putting it through its early paces during a filming day at Silverstone.

“It was really good to get back out in the car for my first proper session with McLaren,” Daniel Ricciardo said. “I was able to push the car a little bit and get more familiar with it. It was a smooth morning, everything ran well and that’s all you can ask in testing – you want reliability on your side and the team back in Woking has done an awesome job of giving us a great start on day one.

“We got a good amount of runs and laps done, with a focus on getting more and more familiar and comfortable in the car. The plan for the next few days is similar, we’re aiming to leave here feeling ready to go for the Bahrain Grand Prix. Happy days!”

It didn’t take long for Ricciardo to get accustomed to his new ride. With the new McLaren arrival setting the fastest lap during the morning session of F1 testing.

Conditions change for the afternoon session

But, while the morning session enjoyed relatively calm conditions, the same couldn’t be said for the afternoon period. With driver’s having to deal with gusty conditions and the resulting sand being blown onto the track.

Slated for the afternoon session, Lando Norris dealt with the challenging conditions relatively easy. Setting the second fastest time of the day behind Red Bull’s Max Verstappen.

“First of all, very happy to be back in a Formula 1 car,” Norris said. “It’s my first time putting the MCL35M to the test in the dry. It’s quite a shock to feel the speed of a Formula 1 car again, it’s been a while since I’ve had that sensation. It was a good shock and it felt nice to be back, but not as nice with the conditions today. The second half of the day was very dusty and windy which made it tricky, so it wasn’t the easiest first day back in the car.

“We spent the session going through our test programme, making sure there are no problems with the seat and that I’m comfortable in the car. We’ve got some things to work on from that side over the next couple of days. We’ll sit down and review everything this evening, but it’s been a solid first day.”



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