F1: Misfiring McLaren bottom of practice timesheets at Albert Park

McLaren's sense of foreboding from a dismal winter testing was confirmed at the Australian Grand Prix on Friday as drivers Jenson Button and Kevin Magnussen languished near the bottom of the timesheets in the opening practice sessions of the season.

hidden March 13, 2015 16:45:33 IST
F1: Misfiring McLaren bottom of practice timesheets at Albert Park

McLaren's sense of foreboding from a dismal winter testing was confirmed at the Australian Grand Prix on Friday as drivers Jenson Button and Kevin Magnussen languished near the bottom of the timesheets in the opening practice sessions of the season.

Out of 15 cars that completed flying laps in the first session, Button and Magnussen were the slowest and had precious little time on track for technicians to gather data.

F1 Misfiring McLaren bottom of practice timesheets at Albert Park

McLaren. AP

They were to gain little cheer from the second session, with former world champion Button improving only to 13th quickest.

Magnussen, standing in for the injured Fernando Alonso, was last-placed at 16th and forced to walk off the track after dragging his car into the gravel.

Strugglers Manor Marussia, recently reborn after going into administration, may have saved McLaren further blushes by being unable to put either of their cars onto the track.

McLaren may not have won a race since 2012 but the prospect of both drivers failing to pass the first round of qualifying on Saturday has become frighteningly real.

While the team's much-hyped partnership with Honda has failed to deliver a competitive car in time for the opening race of the season, management have also been under fire from media speculation about Alonso's health.

The two-time world champion had a heavy crash at testing last month and suffered temporary memory loss.

The team blamed high winds for the collision rather than mechanical failure but the incident is still being probed by the FIA.

Racing director Eric Bouillier forecast weeks ago that McLaren might need until the Europe swing in May to be competitive and on Friday could only speak of what might be.

"Clearly, our practice times today indicate that we have work to do in order to close the gap to our rivals. It was a difficult day, but we expected that," he told reporters.

"We are still in the process, as you can see today, of... understanding the car. We still have a lot of parameters to work on and discover.

"I don't know how long it's going to take."

Magnussen, who was runner-up for McLaren last year at Albert Park in a stunning F1 debut, blamed himself for his skid off turn six and minor collision with a barrier, adding his car had "balance" if not speed.

"The positive is that the balance and feeling of the car feels good," he said. "Clearly, there's a lot more to come but it's definitely a good baseline."

Reuters

Updated Date:

Subscribe to Moneycontrol Pro at ₹499 for the first year. Use code PRO499. Limited period offer. *T&C apply

also read

Kenya's Beatrice Chepkoech betters five-kilometre world record by one second in Monaco
Sports

Kenya's Beatrice Chepkoech betters five-kilometre world record by one second in Monaco

The 29-year-old added to her 3,000m steeplechase world record with a time of 14 minutes 43 seconds in Monaco.

Ukrainian Illya Marchenko beats Andy Murray 6-2, 6-4 in Biella Challenger final
Sports

Ukrainian Illya Marchenko beats Andy Murray 6-2, 6-4 in Biella Challenger final

The Scot, now ranked 125th, lost 6-2, 6-4 to 33-year-old Ukrainian Illya Marchenko, who is ranked 212th, in the hard-court event.

Inspiration or duplication, what constitutes plagiarism in gaming industry?
Sports

Inspiration or duplication, what constitutes plagiarism in gaming industry?

There are many kinds of copying within the world of gaming. The common scenarios include reworks for a game or modifications, sequels, games inspired by an older game, and in rare cases games that very closely resemble an older game.