Date: 3rd March 2014 at 12:29pm
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McLaren had a mixed winter testing.

All signs were looking good for the new partnership of Jenson Button and Kevin Magnussen.

With a total mileage from all three winter test sessions in Jerez and Bahrain of 4,153km, only 819km behind Mercedes and fourth overall [also behind Williams and Ferrari], McLaren had certainly shown their reliability ahead of teams such as Red Bull and Lotus.

A fastest time in Bahrain of 1minute 34.910 seconds was the best of the eight days in the desert. That was set by Kevin Magnussen on the second day of the second test.

Jenson Button set a time of 1minute 34.957 seconds on day four of the same test.

Time wise they were both around 1.5seconds off the times set by Felipe Massa for Williams and the Mercedes duo of Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg.

But that time could have been significantly improved, if McLaren hadn’t suffered reliability problems towards the end of the final test session in Bahrain.

Button suffered both an engine failure and an electronics issue on the final day of testing, limiting him to just 22 laps.

It was an ill-timed failure as McLaren had intended to test upgrades to the car, including a newly designed front-wing which the team had hoped would put them on a par with Mercedes going into the opening race weekend of the season in Australia.

‘At the end of the day, any further attempts to run were hit by an as-yet undiagnosed control electronics problem – the result of which is that the team had no driver feedback upon which to evaluate the new front wing,’

‘The engineers will be able to evaluate its strengths using the limited run-data we accumulated during the day.’
A McLaren spokesperson told Sky Sports.

2009 Formula One World Champion Jenson Button added: ‘We feel that by the first race we’ll be good. I don’t know where we’ll stand but we’ll be a lot more competitive.

‘I’m not worried about where we are. I’m quite happy with the basic car that we have, but I know we need more downforce. But that’s coming.’