McLaren have dead-batted feverish speculation that their MP4-24 is struggling for pace by insisting that they proved their pace on a day that Lewis Hamilton finished seventh out of eight in the timesheets at Jerez.
McLaren's form in testing this winter has been something of a peculiarity. The team have, more often that not, been founded in the bottom half of the timesheets and their decision to run with a 2008-spec rear wing has caused more than a few eyebrows to be raised.
To the outsider at least, Wednesday was another dispiriting day for the team with Lewis Hamilton forced to spend most of the morning in the garage after an engine fire. Although he returned to the track in the afternoon, his best lap time was a second and a half shy of the fastest set by Renault's Fernano Alonso.
However, the team have insisted that their day was both positive and productive.
'A delay to fit new parts to the rear suspension caused Lewis to miss out on most of the morning's running - when the track was at its fastest - but he resumed after lunch,' it reported in its press release.
'The presence of a blustery wind and a sudden shower prompted a brief spin in the afternoon but Lewis stayed on-track and later declared himself pleased with the team's progress. With focus now shifting towards MP4-24's mechanical set-up, the car proved one of the fastest over a long run and has given the team plenty of useful information as it works to prepare for the first race of the season later this month.'
Hamilton will be back in action on Thursday, with the team also scheduled to appear at the Barcelona test next week.
Source : Planet F1