Atlas F1 News Service

More Reliability Problems for McLaren at Barcelona

Wednesday February 21st, 2001

The McLaren team had mixed fortunes on the first day of testing at the Barcelona circuit, where test driver Alex Wurz set the fastest time while David Coulthard was able to complete only four laps.

Wurz ran 78 laps with the new MP4-16, setting a fastest time of 1:21.014. Despite the big amount of laps completed, the Austrian was hit by mechanical trouble once more, causing the session to be red-flagged when his car came to a halt.

Meanwhile, Coulthard wasn't so lucky and after only four laps around the Circuit de Catalunya, his car stopped with a gearbox failure and his session came to a premature end, highlighting again the reliability problems the Woking-based team have suffered with their new car.

Williams' Juan Pablo Montoya was also at the track, setting the second quickest time today, more than a second behind Wurz.

"The car feels well balanced and the team's hard effort over the winter months is paying dividends," said the Colombian.

"This is my last chance with the car before my debut race," he added. "I know Melbourne is only ten days away, but it still seems a long way off for me."

Testing at Barcelona will continue tomorrow.

Today's times:

Pos  Driver        Team-Engine         Tyres  Time   
 1.  Wurz          McLaren-Mercedes    (B)    1:21.014
 2.  Montoya       Williams-BMW        (M)    1:22.468
 3.  Coulthard     McLaren-Mercedes    (B)    1:45.363

All Timing Unofficial

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