McLaren team boss Eric Boullier is adamant that the major electronic problem that cost the team the first two days in Jerez has been resolved.
Fernando Alonso ran 32 laps today, before he was sidelined by a completely different issue.
“After the last laps of Jenson [yesterday] we believed we had fixed the issues,” he said. “But sometimes you just open the Pandora’s box and you pick up one [problem], and then another one is coming. This morning it was just a relief to see the car getting out of the garage at 9am and running actually faultlessly for a few hours.
“The reason we didn’t run this afternoon was different, it was a component which created a water cooling leak, we had to take the engine off, open everything to change it, because it’s in the middle. We could have run maybe half an hour at the end, but we decided to stop the day and make it properly for tomorrow. But the main issues are now away.
Asked how much of the planned programme had been completed he said: “Not enough, obviously we are maybe less than 50%. It’s better than nothing, but operationally we have covered everything that we wanted. The good thing is that the car is running as you saw this morning, 10 laps in a row, so we have no design concept or conceptual issues or architectural issues. Cooling is working, everything is fine.”
Although Alonso ran only in the damp the team learned a lot.
“The driver comments were very, very positive. Fernando said the car is really reacting well, the car is really stable, and you could see a couple of times on the pitwall checking in Turn One, with Mercedes driving at the same time, and you could see the car was really stable on the entry, and this is just a sign.”