2008 Spanish GP, practice: McLaren-Mercedes quotes 

Written by David on April 25th, 2008 at 5:47 pmLast Update: April 25th, 2008 at 5:47 pm

McLaren Mercedes MP4-23 Front ViewMartin Whitmarsh: “An unsatisfactory start to Heikki’s Spanish Grand Prix weekend. Following the gearbox oil pump failure in the first session we lost some time as we had to change the rear of the car. Then in his second run in the second session the systems lost control of the engine throttle and the safety system activated and stopped the engine. The engine did come back to life but we stopped as a precaution. We will now establish what caused this problem as there are a number of theories at the moment. Lewis suffered from oversteer throughout, and we will look at all the data overnight to find a solution. As is normal on a Friday both drivers ran with heavy fuel loads on the long runs, but there is no doubt that our competition looks strong.”

Lewis Hamilton: “We struggled with the balance of the car throughout both sessions today. There was too much oversteer and we tried a lot of different things to improve but didn’t make the progress we wanted. We will look at the information overnight, and I am confident we will find the improvements needed. As is often the case we ran with heavy race fuel loads throughout the long runs in both sessions so the times don’t really mean that much. Tomorrow is when it counts and I am looking forward to getting some more running under my belt.”

Heikki Kovalainen: “A disappointing day for me unfortunately. I managed to do a bit of running in the first session, but the time was cut short when a problem developed with the gear box oil pump and the guys had to change the gearbox between sessions. Then in the second practice all of a sudden I lost all power when the engine switched off and was told to pull over, and that was the end of that. We will have a good look at the car overnight to understand what caused the problem in the second session and then start a new day tomorrow. There is still time left and a lot can happen.”

Norbert Haug: “On a difficult and very windy day with changing track conditions Lewis completed his preparation programme for Saturday and Sunday. The times during the long runs didn’t look too bad but Lewis felt more comfortable with the car during testing here last week. Heikki had an even more difficult day with limited running. Between both sessions, the team changed the gearbox on his car. During the second session he stopped on the track because the engine safety programme set in following a problem with the throttle control.”

source: McLaren- Mercedes

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