Thursday, May 21, 2015
JENSON BUTTON : "My car was pretty scary to drive today: as soon as I touched the throttle, it just snapped away from me. It was unpredictable: in low-speed corners, the car was just slow, because I got wheel-spin immediately; in the high-speed stuff, it was just scary, because the rear end would snap away immediately under power."I was talking to my engineers for most of the race to try to find out what the root of the problem was, and we switched on quite a lot of handling balance changes to try to cure it. It got a little bit better towards the end of the afternoon, but it was a pretty tough afternoon."Now, we’ll thoroughly look at the data and see what the matter was – it’s something we’ve got to look into."
FERNANDO ALONSO : "My pitstop was a scary moment – I didn’t have much rear braking for my whole in-lap, then even less at the stop. It was scary for the mechanics, but luckily it didn’t hurt anyone."My brake issue was separate from Jenson’s problem yesterday; in qualifying, he had a single disc that wasn’t reaching temperature, but I had no brakes. I think the rear disc stopped working, so I only had front brakes."Things are coming together. We’re still a long way off the front and need to take bigger steps, but this is a very challenging project and I’m happy that we’re recovering well."This has been a disappointing day, but the team will investigate what happened, and we’ll come back stronger in Monaco."
ERIC BOULLIER : "For all at McLaren, a team that has won the Spanish Grand Prix no fewer than eight times in our illustrious history, it’s superfluous to state that this afternoon has been a more than somewhat disappointing one."Fernando was running reasonably well until his race was abruptly terminated by an as-yet-unspecified rear brake problem that caused him to overshoot our pit-box. That was irksome for all of us, Fernando in particular, but more important is that no-one was hurt."As for Jenson, he too had a vexatious afternoon, losing ground right from the start and complaining of poor rear traction thereafter. He eventually finished 16th."We arrived in Spain with robust but measured ambitions: to manage both our cars through to Q2 in qualifying and to score world championship points for the first time this year. The former objective we achieved; the latter we did not."Disappointing it was, but disheartening it isn’t. Yes, we’d all be more sanguine if progress could be made more expeditiously; equally, and importantly, our underlying pace is improving with every race."In two weeks’ time we’ll be in Monaco, on whose famously serpentine Tarmac we’ll be hoping to fare appreciably better than we did here in Barcelona today. McLaren has won at the Principality more often than has any other marque – 15 times to be precise – and, although we aren’t anticipating notching up victory number 16 there this year, I won’t shy away from proclaiming here and now that we’ll be aiming to score world championship points on May 24th."
YASUHISA ARAI : "It has been a very disappointing weekend, but, sometimes, that’s the reality of racing."On a more positive note, Fernando’s race pace was very good. We’ll now analyse all the data and continue to improve driveability for the next race at Monaco. That will be key to progress around the slow street circuit."
Saturday, May 9, 2015
• FERNANDO ALONSO : “This is the first time both McLaren-Hondas have got into Q2 this season, so we’re definitely unlocking more of the car’s potential, and there’ll be more to come in the next couple of races.“Still, this is another step forward, and I hope we can fight for points tomorrow. We’re starting 13th, and our tyre management looks quite good, so I think it’s realistic to look at getting into the top 10, but we’ll need to attack throughout the race.”To be honest, however, scoring one or two points tomorrow isn’t what we as a team are looking for, but it’s good for everyone’s motivation if we keep achieving tangible results – so scoring points will be a good step.”
• JENSON BUTTON : “I’m a bit frustrated because we fitted new brakes for qualifying, and, every time I braked for Turn One, the car pulled to the left. On my last run in Q2, the team told me to warm the brakes in a different way, which meant they weren’t fully warmed up by the time I started my fast lap, so I had front locking for the first three corners. It felt a bit weird, so we need to look at the reasons why.“I hope that we can be relatively competitive and have a reasonable race tomorrow. We’re making solid progress – we got both cars into Q2 on merit, without any cars ahead of us suffering any issues. That’s a positive step for the whole team.“Yesterday, our long-run practice pace looked okay – a lot of teams turn their engines up for qualifying, and then turn them down again for the race; but we don’t have to do that, so we perhaps go into the race with a bit more potential than some of the cars ahead of us.“I’m looking forward to the race.”
• ERIC BOULLIER : “Compared with where we were at the beginning of the season, this afternoon’s qualifying performance clearly indicates the continuing steady improvement we’ve been working so hard to achieve.“No, we aren’t remotely satisfied with P13 and P14, and we never will be. But our target for today was to get both cars through to Q2, and we achieved that.“We have a busy evening ahead of us, with plenty of data to study. Tomorrow, our ambition is to score our first world championship points of the season. That isn’t a promise, but, yes, it’s our objective.”
• YASUHISA ARAI : "We’ve been working hard to improve the low- to mid-speed output on the power unit, but unfortunately we couldn’t bring everything together for qualifying. It’s disappointing, but we know that our race-pace simulation during FP2 went well yesterday, so we hope that we’ll be able to improve our positions during tomorrow’s race.”
• JENSON BUTTON : “You simply can’t compare the car I drove today to the car I last tested here back in February; the difference is night and day. Then, the last corner was easy-flat, whereas now it isn’t because of the extra grunt our Honda power unit is pushing out these days.“We felt reasonably good on the Prime tyre this morning, but really struggled on it in the afternoon, when we were much better on the Option. So there’s a lot of work for us to do in every area to optimise what we have, and also to figure out why the car is doing certain things on track.“All in all, it’s been a positive but tough day in terms of putting miles on our components: for example, we tried three different front wings today – so the sessions were mainly about data collecting.“There’s still plenty of room for improvement, so we need to properly study all the data tonight.”
• FERNANDO ALONSO : “Today felt more like a test day than the Friday of a grand prix weekend.“But it’s been positive: we ended the day without any technical problems, and we completed everything on our run programme. I had a little spin at the end of FP1 – I was pushing on one of my in-laps, just having a bit of fun, when the car pirouetted at Turn 12.“The track was a little bit slower today than it was in winter testing, and we had to adapt the car to today’s conditions, but hopefully tomorrow we can be a little bit closer to the cars at the front.“We’ve made a number of positive steps today, and the car seemed to behave well, but we have a lot of work to do tonight. We need to pull everything together and then select the best parts for qualifying tomorrow.”
• ERIC BOULLIER :“It’s been a busy day: we had an extremely aggressive run programme planned for today – with lots to assess and analyse – and, pleasingly, we got through it all.“It’s hard to definitively measure the extent of lap-time improvement that this weekend’s upgrades have provided, but we’re seeing useful positives in every area.“Additionally, both Fernando and Jenson have given us some very detailed feedback, but it’s clear that we still have some work to do if we’re to get the whole package working to its fullest extent on Saturday and Sunday.“The most important thing, however, is that we’re moving forwards.”
• YASUHISA ARAI :"Today, FP1 was a bit difficult because we were trying to pull together various updates from both the chassis and power unit side – so the 90 minutes went rather quickly!“In the end both sessions were very productive for us, though, and we were able to test the power unit driveability software updates that we implemented during the mini-break. Based on the FP1 results, we then tweaked the engine dynamics further for FP2.“On the operational side, things are working more smoothly than they were on the first four race weekends, and we’re satisfied with today’s work in the garage. We still need to review our data further for tomorrow’s running – qualifying is very important at this track, as it’s so difficult to overtake here.“But, as always, we’ll do our best.”
Thursday, May 7, 2015
Tuesday, May 5, 2015
I/ The Japanese manufacturer has evolved the combustion chamber from its V6 as well as the electronic fuel injection system. Fernando Alonso should be the first to benefit of this evolution this weekend in Spain, his engine being the most tired. Jenson Button could also have the engine evolution . The increase in power is estimated to be approximately 15-20 horses, at high speed. This should allow the MP4-30 to win a few kilometres / hour top speed. In parallel, the heat exchanger will be reviewed and a new fuel produced by Exxon Mobil will be used. The next engine evolution is scheduled for the Austria or Britain GP .
II/ the podium still a target for 2015 for Yasuhisa Arai : "Day by day , we can see real progress. I am confident that our efforts will yield results .
I would say that we are on the way up the mountain now, although not yet at the top. The podium is our hope and aspiration for the remaining 15 races ."
III/ Fernando Alonso will this week reunite with the medical team that nursed him back to health after his winter testing crash.Spain’s El Mundo newspaper reports that the McLaren-Honda driver has invited members of the Hospital General de Catalunya out for dinner ahead of this weekend’s Spanish grand prix at the Barcelona circuit.
IV/ Finally, there are suggestions McLaren may tweak the livery of its MP4-30 car for the Spanish grand prix, removing silver and replacing it with grey or more of the team’s iconic ’rocket red’.