McLaren tester Gary Paffett was putting in the laps alongside Pedro de la Rosa on the first day of post-season testing at the Circuit de Catalunya near Barcelona yesterday.
The day was dominated by the return to F1 of Michael Schumacher, helping out his old team in its quest to retain its superiority in the wake of the abolition of traction control for next season.
But the McLaren drivers were also hard at work preparing to return to an era without electronic aids.
De La Rosa was third behind the Ferraris of Schumacher and fellow tester Luca Badoer, with a fastest lap time of 1:22.687 – nearly eight tenths of a second behind the leader.
Heikki Kovalainen for Renault and Robert Kubica for BMW were fourth and fifth, with times of 1:22.802 and 1:22.883 respectively.
Gary Paffett was sixth after proving not quite able to break the 1:22 barrier – his fastest lap time stood at 1:23.008.
The team pronounced itself satisfied with the day and confirmed that work for both drivers had focused on running without driver aids on the MP4-22.
It said there were a number of red flag stoppages during the day; however it was able to complete its scheduled running for the session.