Vandoorne hails 'best day this season'
20 April 2017 – Stoffel Vandoorne described McLaren-Honda's conclusion to the opening in-season test at the Sakhir circuit as the team's "best day this season so far", after a trouble-free run.
Honda endured a string of MGU-H issues over the Bahrain Grand Prix weekend, a race Vandoorne failed to start due to a water pressure issue after his reconnaissance laps.
On the first day of this week's test, further problems struck, with test/development driver Oliver Turvey sidelined after just two laps when a water leak was detected from the ERS.
However, on the final day, the team enjoyed a much more productive outing, with Vandoorne managing to complete 81 laps, jumping up to fourth on the timesheets with a late run.
"It has probably been our best day this season so far," said Vandoorne.
"It's the first time that we've had a day without any big problems, where we could get on with our programme.
"I think we completed everything we wanted to do, and we went through a lot of set-up stuff that we didn't manage to do [during the two pre-season test sessions] in Barcelona.
"It's been a very productive day and I'm very happy that we've been able to do so many laps, especially after a difficult day yesterday and a difficult weekend – it wasn't looking great.
"There were some new bits on the car – quite fundamental things – that we wanted to try out, and learn about, so it's been really useful to see where the performance comes from."
McLaren Racing Director Eric Boullier added to Vandoorne's comments, declaring a "perfect" day of running, and also praised the team for pushing on through recent technical troubles.
"We've managed a 'proper' test, and made the most of every opportunity out on track," he said.
"Everything we've planned, we've tested, and we've done back-to-back runs, so I'm really happy.
"It's complicated to understand the issues we've had over the past few days, since we've managed to run without any problems, but Honda are working hard to understand where the weaknesses lie.
"We've been able to run with a more aggressive set-up, gathered a lot of information and tested a lot of solutions, so in terms of both data and results it's been a very positive day of testing.
"It's certainly been a trying couple of weeks for everyone, and I can't thank the team enough for the long hours, hard work and incredible effort they've put in after a long period away from home."
McLaren is one of only two teams, along with Sauber, yet to score a point in 2017.