Stoffel Vandoorne said an exhaust clip is to blame for McLaren’s lack of running on the second day of pre-season testing.
After an encouraging start to Tuesday’s running that saw Vandoorne complete 32 laps by 1 p.m. and sit in third place on the timing screens, the Belgian only managed a further five laps during the rest of the day as the MCL33 spent a long time in the garage. While encouraged by the feeling of the car on track, Vandoorne says an exhaust clip failure resulted in overheating and ended his day early.
“Obviously it was very nice to get back in the car after the winter, it felt like I hadn’t left the cockpit so that was positive I think,” Vandoorne said. “Mainly what held us back was the weather conditions. Obviously it was a very cold and damp circuit, so that took a while to get the running started for everyone, so we took the opportunity to do some rake works and gather some aero data during this time.
“After that the track got in a reasonable condition and we managed to do a few proper runs and try and understand the car we have this year a bit more. The first impression is very positive, it felt very comfortable, no surprises, and some good learning done.
“Unfortunately we had this small issue with the exhaust clip just after lunch which obviously detached the exhaust and blew a lot of hot air on some of the wiring looms and one of those wiring looms was the brake wire as well. So the team took a precautionary check which obviously meant things took a bit longer than expected. All in all it’s been a positive day with a lot of thing learned and it was not a big problem.”
With Fernando Alonso also losing track time due to a wheel nut failure on Monday, McLaren has managed just 81 laps in total so far during testing, one lap fewer than Honda’s new partner Toro Rosso completed on Tuesday alone.