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McLaren 'working hard' to rectify testing issues for season opener

McLaren's issues in Bahrain testing resulted in three compromised days of running, but team boss Andreas Seidl is confident that these will be rectified for the season-opening race.

Norris Bahrain
To news overview © RN365/Michael Potts

McLaren team boss Andreas Seidl has said that work is ongoing at the team in a bid to cure the issues they encountered during the Bahrain test last week.

After a strong showing in Barcelona, McLaren's running across all three days in Sakhir was hampered by an ongoing, unspecified, front axle-related problem on the MCL36.

It resulted in Lando Norris - carrying out all testing in the absence of ill teammate Daniel Ricciardo - needing to constantly return to the McLaren garage for lengthy stays, as the team worked frantically to resolve the issue and get back out on track.

Having recovered somewhat on the final day, as Norris managed 90 laps, Seidl explained that the team are ready to kick off the new season.

"After a busy winter, we're kicking off another exciting season of Formula 1 and the team is ready to go racing under the new regulations," he said.

"Our aim is to continue to build on our progress from 2021, further closing the gap to the top and bringing the fight to our competitors.

"The entire team and our colleagues at Mercedes HPP have worked incredibly hard to build a car under new regulations and delivered a good platform to start the season.

"We continue to understand the car after a mixed pre-season test and the team are working hard to address the issue we encountered, in preparation for the first race."

Ricciardo revved up for racing return

Ricciardo, who was sidelined for the entire Bahrain test as he tested positive for COVID-19 on Friday, has been cleared to get back in the cockpit after returning a series of negative COVID tests.

Despite having missed out on plenty of on-track preparation, Ricciardo says he was able to keep abreast of developments by maintaining close communication with the team throughout the test.

"I'm glad to be back, feeling better and ready for the Bahrain Grand Prix and season ahead," he commented.

"I was disappointed to not be in the car last week but despite being unwell, I've been able to keep in touch with the team, chat to Lando about the car and prepare as best as I can for the race weekend.

"I want to maximise the free practice sessions to better understand the car and fine tune everything ready for qualifying and lights out on Sunday.

"It's hard to know where we'll be on the grid but it's going to be competitive and I'm hungry to get back in the car and go racing."

Seidl welcomed the news of Ricciardo's return, saying: "Daniel's season preparations were compromised by him being unable to drive during the test in Bahrain, however, he got some good laps in at the Barcelona test.

"Daniel is fully recovered, and we look forward to having him back in the car this weekend."

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