Honda motorsport chief Yasuhisa Arai says he is happy and relieved by McLaren’s progress after a tough start to pre-season testing at Jerez.
After early teething problems limited the Woking-based squad to just 12 laps over the opening two days of testing, Fernando Alonso managed to put the first serious mileage on the team’s new car on Wednesday before a loss of cooling pressure.
Jenson Button added 35 laps on Wednesday to take McLaren’s total count for the week to 79, and set the team’s fastest lap of Jerez in the process.
“Looking back at the first four days of testing, I’m both happy and relieved that we’ve been able to get the car here and watch it run on the track,” Arai said.
“It’s a new car and a new power unit, so a huge undertaking for many people in both Sakura and Woking. I’m proud of all their efforts.
“Of course, we’d anticipated there would be issues – this is a test, after all – but the difficulties we faced here were more than we’d expected, so we weren’t able to get the running time we’d ideally wanted.
“Nonetheless, Fernando and Jenson’s feedback has been positive and comprehensive – they’ve given us some very good information.
“There’s now an incredible amount of positivity within the organisation. We’ll return to the track in Barcelona – with some modifications – and will be stronger at the next two tests.
“I’m extremely pleased to see Honda back where it belongs – in Formula 1.”
This article first appeared on Richland F1 – Image courtesy of McLaren