McLaren admit they are on the back foot after Day 1 of testing in Bahrain
McLaren's 2023 season looks to have already gotten off to a poor start just one day into pre-season testing in Bahrain.
McLaren are one team unlikely to be turning heads going into the 2023 season. Just one day into pre-season testing the team from Woking admit that they are on the back foot. McLaren have failed to translate their winter projections and simulator work onto the track.
McLaren CEO Zak Brown said "“It’s hard to know [where we are] until we get going. We set some goals for development which we didn’t hit [and] we felt it was better, to be honest about that.” The team could be facing another tough season opener in Bahrain next week which has not proved to be a great track for them. Last year at the 2022 season open the team suffered brake temperature issues and saw them qualify near the back of the grid and that pace continued into the race.
“We, like everyone, have a lot of developments coming so we are encouraged at what we see around the corner, but it will be going into the first race off our projected targets – [it’s] hard to know what that will be on the grid," said Brown.
However the teams rookie Oscar Piastri says he does not feel pressure in his first debut Formula 1 season after the contract saga that was a big news story of the 2022 season. The Aussie driver was the subject of a contract rights battle between McLaren and Alpine who had help him get to the position he is now in. The French outfit had paid for his drives in Formula 2 and Formula 3 top team Prema where he secured both titles in consecutive years.
Piastri completed 52 laps on day one of the pre-season test in Bahrain taking the MCL60 on its first laps of the 2023 season in the morning session. “Yeah, it’s been great so far, settling in well. Obviously been with the team at the back end of last year a little bit, I spent a lot of time at the factory this side of Christmas as well. It’s been good, everyone’s been very welcoming, I’m getting to know the whole team better and better every day and yeah, it’s nice to be finally back to the racetrack driving,” he said.