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Turvey frustrated as power unit issue curtails first F1 test in two years

Enjoying his first Formula 1 test in two years, Oliver Turvey was limited to just 17 laps after a power unit issue for McLaren in Bahrain.
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McLaren development driver Oliver Turvey made no secret of his frustration after his first Formula 1 test in almost two years was hindered by a water leak that limited him to just 17 laps in Bahrain on Tuesday.

Turvey was given the nod to appear at the Bahrain International Circuit by McLaren, only for the issue to force a change in Honda power unit that cost the Briton seven hours of running.

While Turvey was able to get back on-track later in the day, he finished almost four seconds off the pace at the bottom of the timesheets, marking a disappointing first outing in an F1 car since the post-Spanish Grand Prix test in 2015.

"I've been looking forward to getting back in the car, it's been two years since I last tested so I'm really grateful to McLaren for giving me the opportunity to drive here in Bahrain," Turvey said.

"[It's] frustrating to have an issue this morning that cost us a lot of track time but for me every lap in a Formula 1 car is good. It's great to be back in the car and at least to get a few laps at the end of the day to feel what the car is like and to hopefully help with the development of the car in the simulator back in the factory."

Turvey has completed much of his recent work in the simulator for McLaren in tandem with his Formula E duties, with the purpose behind the test in Bahrain to see how the virtual MCL32 matches up with its real-world counterpart.

"Coming here the main thing was to try and get a feeling for the car and to go back into the simulator and try and develop the car," Turvey said. "Obviously we didn't get as many laps as we wanted and it was quite a frustrating day in that sense but for me it has been two years since I last drove the car so it was great to get back out in a Formula 1 car and to test again with McLaren-Honda.

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"I think at the end there I got a few laps in the last two runs and was able to get a reasonable feeling for the car. So I think we achieved something out of that today and I can go back to the factory and work with the team and hopefully get the simulator correlated which will help us for the rest of the year.”

The issue with the Honda power unit on Tuesday was just the latest for McLaren, whose start to the 2017 season has been blighted by constant reliability issues. While Turvey shares in the team's frustration, he stressed that every effort is being made to turn things around.

"I think at the minute obviously everyone's frustrated and it's not where we want the team to be, but this is my eighth season with the team as a test driver so I've been with the team for a long time," Turvey said.

"I think everyone is working as hard as ever to try and get us back to winning ways and I think everyone's doing everything they can. Everyone has got to work together and keep positive and keep moving forwards really.”

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