McLaren make progress in Jerez

McLaren appear to have ironed out some of the handling problems they experienced with their new car after Heikki Kovalainen posted the team’s best lap of the week in Jerez today.

The team has introduced a raft of aerodynamic modifications to the MP4-24 this week in a bid to counter some of the problems they uncovered in Barcelona.

The changes appeared to have little impact at first with Lewis Hamilton languishing at the bottom of the timesheets over a second slower than the pacesetters.

However Heikki Kovalainen enjoyed a more productive day on Wednesday and his fastest time of 1:18.202 brings McLaren to within four tenths of Jenson Button’s best time this week.

“The test proved extremely productive,” McLaren commented in their testing notes, “both in terms of evaluating the laptime potential of the new components and their effectiveness over the course of a simulated race stint.”

McLaren’s pre-season preparations conclude tomorrow with Kovalainen putting the MP4-24 through its final paces before the start of the season in Melbourne.

Today’s times:

Pos Driver Team Time Laps
1. Kovalainen McLaren-Mercedes (B) 1:18.202 79
2. Nakajima Williams-Toyota (B) 1:20.014 103