McLaren hit by 'small issues' on second day of testing

Oscar Piastri (AUS) McLaren MCL38. 22.02.2024. Formula 1 Testing, Sakhir, Bahrain, Day Two. -, EMail: © Copyright: Moy / XPB Images
© XPB 

McLaren was able to keep up the pace in the second day of pre-season testing at Bahrain International Circuit, although the team admitted afterwards that it had encountered a number of small issues during the day.

Oscar Piastri was in charge of the MCL38 on Thursday morning, although the session was curtailed after just 80 minutes due to problems with the track. He finished his stint after 35 laps with a best time of 1:32.328s.

After an early lunch, Lando Norris got the benefit of a longer five hour afternoon and evening session, completing 52 laps with a best time of 1:31.256s which put him fourth fastest for the day.

However Norris did lose some time while the McLaren engineers worked on what was described as a small fuel system issue on the car, and there was further fine tuning needed later in the session which left Norris kicking his heels.

“Another day of testing done," Norris said after the end of the day. "We ran into some small issues that set us back today so we couldn’t get all the running we wanted to do in the second session, especially at high fuel.

"There’s still some work to do on the balance of the car, but there were still a lot of things learned which is good," he continued. "We have plenty to look into tonight, and some different things to try and examine tomorrow.”

Piastri was understandably disappointed at losing more than half his scheduled time in the car due to the abrupt end of the morning session.

Oscar Piastri (AUS) McLaren MCL38.
22.02.2024. Formula 1 Testing, Sakhir, Bahrain, Day Two.
-, EMail: © Copyright: Batchelor / XPB Images

“A slightly shorter morning than planned today due to the red flag," he sighed. "However it was still a very useful session. We worked through a lot, focussing on set-up work whilst dialling the car in.

"The pace seems reasonable and we're making decent progress with our test programme. Another solid day, and I look forward to getting more laps in tomorrow.”

McLaren's head of testing José Manuel López gave an overall impression of how the day had gone for the squad, which he admitted had been "less straightforward due to the red flag caused by an issue with the circuit."

"With Oscar, we completed some rake work to collect data for our aerodynamics team as part of a combined programme across both mornings, as well as some set-up work.

Lando Norris (GBR), McLaren F1 Team
22.02.2024. Formula 1 Testing, Sakhir, Bahrain, Day Two.
-, EMail: © Copyright: Charniaux / XPB Images

"We still collected a lot of data and learned more and more about the MCL38," he continued. "We used the extra time in the afternoon session with Lando to collect more aerodynamic data and study some characteristics.

"We also focused on short runs on soft tyres, car set-up, performance runs and race runs, before we ran into a small fuel system issue which we fixed and went out again.

“We’ll have a good debrief this evening and prepare with the engineers, mechanics, drivers, and support team back at the factory, before taking all of our learnings into the final day of testing," he added.

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