F1: Hamilton’s McLaren MP4-26 short of parts on third day of Jerez testing

PUBLISHED: 19:36 12 February 2011 | UPDATED: 09:54 16 February 2011

The new McLaren MP4-26 [Picture courtesy of www.mclaren.com]

The new McLaren MP4-26 [Picture courtesy of www.mclaren.com]

HOCH ZWEI / Michael Kunkel

LACK of spare parts meant McLaren Mercedes Formula 1 driver Lewis Hamilton didn’t get too much track time on the third day of testing in Jerez.

Former F1 world champion Lewis Hamilton at the McLaren MP4-26 car launch in Berlin [Picture courtesy of www.mclaren.com]

The 26-year-old grand prix star from Hertfordshire completed just 36 laps on test day three in Spain.

Former F1 world champion Hamilton’s best lap time of 1 minute 21.009 seconds around the Circuito de Jerez was the fourth fastest of the day on the unofficial timesheets.

Vitaly Petrov went quickest for Lotus-Renault, with Fernando Alonso second best in the new Ferrari ahead of Mercedes GP’s Michael Schumacher.

A shortage of spares meant Herts-born Lewis was only able to record 36 laps during the day after completing 58 on Thursday.

The new McLaren MP4-26 [Picture courtesy of www.mclaren.com]

While this hampered running – on-the-spot repairs to the McLaren MP4-26 were affected – the relevant new components will be delivered overnight ahead of tomorrow’s final day of running.

Despite the lack of mileage, the team was pleased with the progress made.

Hamilton and the engineers made some positive new steps with car set-up and understanding tyre performance, and also re-confirmed some concepts the team had previously tested.

McLaren also conducted some running with the new-for-2011 drag reduction system – but will fully focus on the adjustable rear wing at next week’s Barcelona test.

Jenson Button concludes the four-day programme tomorrow (Sunday), carrying on from where Lewis left off, focusing on confirmation of today’s set-up direction and, hopefully, some long-run tyre comparison work on the Pirelli tyres.

Having delayed launching their 2011 challenger until February 4, this week’s test in Jerez is McLaren’s first opportunity to get miles on the MP4-26.

The first race of the season is the 2011 Bahrain Grand Prix on Sunday, March 13.

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