McLaren in ‘race against time’ to solve brake issues

Jon Wilde
McLaren mechanics wheel the MCL36 back to the garage. Bahrain March 2022.

McLaren mechanics wheel the MCL36 back to the garage after it stopped at the end of the pit lane. Bahrain March 2022.

Andreas Seidl says McLaren are in “a race against time” to bring in new parts that can salvage their official pre-season test.

The first two days in Bahrain have not exactly been a disaster for McLaren, but a long way removed from what they would have hoped for.

The initial blow was Daniel Ricciardo being struck down by illness, leaving him unable to drive a single lap so far and under the care of the team doctor.

That meant Lando Norris has had the MCL36 all to himself, but a total of 110 laps across the first two days was considerably less mileage than the Briton would have expected if all had gone smoothly.

For context, Yuki Tsunoda in the AlphaTauri completed 120 laps on Friday alone.

Norris revealed brake issues had affected the car on day one and team principal Seidl revealed new components have had to be shipped to Bahrain, where the opening grand prix of the season takes place next week.

“After the good test in Barcelona, definitely not a great start for us the first one and a half days here,” said Seidl in an interview with Formula 1 during the Friday lunch break.

“Unexpectedly, we have some challenges on the front axle with the brakes and now it’s simply a race against time to get upgraded parts here in order to cure the issue.

“We still found some solutions that allow us to get back to running, so hopefully we will still manage now to have a productive test until Saturday night.

“Definitely it has to do with the track layout here and the temperatures. Still, it came as a bit of a surprise to us, but I’m confident with all the experts working on it now, I have a lot of trust that at the latest next week the problem will be solved.

“We have a good foundation or base going into this new season, we just have to solve this brake issue and hopefully we are up for a competitive season.”


Seidl also gave an update on Ricciardo who, health permitting, will be desperate to get a much-needed full day’s track action under his belt on Saturday.

“Daniel felt unwell yesterday morning, he had a bad night. That’s why he couldn’t drive yesterday,” said the German.

“He’s actually feeling better today, but we’ve taken the cautious approach. Hopefully he will be back in the car tomorrow.”

Asked to confirm the Australian had not been suffering from COVID-19, Seidl said: “Obviously we did all the checks and our team doctor is looking after him. But all the checks we did regarding COVID have been negative, thankfully.”


Concern for McLaren as brake issue emerges

Concern at McLaren as brake issues stopped any long runs in day one of testing.