McLaren hail 'best start for many years' after first F1 test

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McLaren Formula 1 boss Andreas Seidl declared this week "the best start for many, many years" after a busy three days of testing.

During the troubled Honda relationship and even in the first year with Renault, the British team struggled to complete the laps due to constant niggling issues stopping the car on track.

This week in Spain, however, McLaren was fourth on the list for most laps covered (423) and, though the British team has yet to focus on performance, the early signs are very positive.

“First of all if you look at the number of laps and into the reliability we have shown so far, it’s by far the best start [for] many, many years for McLaren in a winter test," Seidl declared via RaceFans.

"Which is simply a great reward and a sign for the entire team that all the hard work we have put in in the last month, in order to make this step, is paying off. So very happy about that.

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“In terms of programme and test points, I’m very happy that we could tick off a lot of boxes already on our job list.

“Without having these reliability [problems] we simply could go through the run plan every day as planned. We focused on ourselves and not focused on lap times and so on.

“We continuously bring new parts to the car as well. We had deliveries from the factory, it’s great to see this momentum we are having.”

Carlos Sainz was actually the third busiest driver of the week with 237 laps, as only Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen did more.

And the Spaniard was satisfied with how the final day went.

"In general, it's been another good morning going through the whole test programme, still understanding the new car and working through our test items," he commented.

"I'm looking forward to going into a second week of testing after a positive first one."

Friday wasn't quite as smooth for teammate Lando Norris, with only 49 laps but he too was upbeat. 

"It's been a decent day. It wasn't perfect, with a few little setbacks here and there, and a few red flags too which meant we didn't get to do as many laps as planned, but we only missed a few," he said.

"Apart from that, I got a better feeling for the car and I feel more confident. We've taken a few little steps forward.

"On the whole, it was a positive day. These first three days have been a positive way to start the season and to set us up for next week."