Thursday 19th March 2009
With their main rivals prying eyes turned away from the Jerez circuit on Wednesday, McLaren finally put their sandbags away and turned up the pace.
The Woking team has been woefully inadequate - or at least appearing to be - during recent pre-season testing with Lewis Hamilton and Heikki Kovalainen often finding themselves propping up the timesheets while the likes of Brawn GP, Toyota, BMW and Ferrari stormed ahead.
In fact the team's pace was so dismal that team boss Martin Whitmarsh conceded that they are suffering a "performance shortfall" while Ferrari's Felipe Massa said he's never seen McLaren this poor.
But at Jerez on Wednesday, with just Williams watching on, McLaren finally produced the lap times many expect of the Championship-winning outfit with Heikki Kovalainen setting the day's fastest time, which proved to be the third quickest of the week.
'In perfect weather conditions, the test proved extremely productive, both in terms of evaluating the lap time potential of the new components and their effectiveness over the course of a simulated race stint,' the team said of Wednesday's running.
And one can only imagine what their lap times would have been if it had been Hamilton - the quicker of the two in pre-season testing - behind the wheel.
Source : Planet F1