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What do we now know about McLaren in 2018?

Formula One was back last week.

All ten teams that will enter the 2018 Formula One World Championship showed off their cars for the first time during the first winter test session of the year in Spain.

The weather offered everything, sun, rain and even snow.

The temperatures meant that it's unlikely that we can read too much into everyone's performances as cars behave differently when a few degree's alters in an afternoon let alone, cold and icy conditions in Spain compared to the desert heat in the Middle East.

But none the less all the cars have had their first outings so what did we learn?


McLaren dumped Japanese manufacturer Honda during 2017 and arrived in Spain with their brand spanking new Renault power-unit.

Over the past few years McLaren have insisted that their aerodynamic package has meant that their chassis was one of the best and fastest on the grid.

If that truly is the case in 2018, then McLaren will be looking to challenge and regularly beat both the manufacturer team of Renault, but also Red Bull Racing.

So how did it run?

Will they find themselves regularly on the back row of the grid once again in 2018? Only managing to beat Sauber in last seasons Formula One Constructors standings or will they be at the front?

Stoffel Vandoorne set the teams fastest lap of testing on day four using the Hypersofts.

His time of 1minute 19.854s, left them as the third quickest time, only behind Mercedes and Ferrari and ahead of all the other Renault powered teams.

They also completed 260 laps or 751.9 miles, again more than Red Bull Racing but 13 laps short of Renault.

Ironically, for all of the unreliability of the Honda engine when in a McLaren, in the back of a Toro Rosso it completed over 190 more miles than McLaren Renault.

'Being ‘winter world champions’ on the timesheets is not of interest to us – the important things are mileage and learning – and today we’re very satisfied with what we have managed to achieve.

“Recovering mileage was our top priority in order to get back on schedule, and now we can regroup and use the data we’ve gathered to redefine our test programme for next week. Now we have the initial test programme done and under our belt, the objectives for test two are running a race distance and practising pitstops – we’re giving the latter more focus and new equipment this year, so that will be the key.”
McLaren race director Eric Boullier told

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The Journalist

Writer: Red5 Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Tuesday March 6 2018

Time: 11:00AM


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