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Mercedes reliability "encouraging" after "complex" challenge - McLaren

Mercedes reliability "encouraging" after "complex" challenge - McLaren

F1 News

Mercedes reliability "encouraging" after "complex" challenge - McLaren

Mercedes reliability "encouraging" after "complex" challenge - McLaren

McLaren team principal Andreas Seidl has praised the smooth integration of the Mercedes' power unit into the MCL35M after a reliable pre-season test in Bahrain.

The team suffered no major setbacks across the three-day test as the new engine proved a worthy fit for last season's third-best constructor.

While McLaren regularly featured at the top of the timesheet across the weekend with strong pace in qualifying simulations and long runs, Seidl pointed to the reliability with the new power unit as the biggest positive ahead of the season-opener.

"It was important to see that we are actually on top of reliability and it was important to go through with the race team again, to go through all the race weekend specific features," said Seidl.

"We shouldn't forget that with our new partner, Mercedes, we have to go through a lot of things for the first time under real pressure in two weeks, through qualifying and a race which is challenging because it is a complex topic to operate in these situations.

"But looking at how this last month went, I am really happy with what this team has done, all the energy everyone has put in.

"To come here with a new power unit, with the new car after some big changes also on the aero regulations, to see how we could pull it off as a team is encouraging."

After emerging from a tight midfield battle last year to finish third in the standings, the signs from Bahrain suggest McLaren could face a similar tussle this season.

Given the vagueness of information regarding each team's run plans, Seidl was non-committal on where his team stands.

"It is difficult to know the pecking order exactly," he added. "We can expect an incredibly tight battle again between the usual suspects. I think we will be in the same fight as we were last year.

"It was simply important to use the time here and find the right balance between the test items and doing the right mileage to understand the car and be in a position to extract the maximum performance from the package we have.

"We will only see in qualifying in Bahrain where we actually are."

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