McLaren updated on its 2018 Formula 1 Austrian Grand Prix programme where it used the three practice sessions to collect as much aero data possible in order to improve the car going forward.

The Woking-based outfit’s results have gone backwards in the last few races with neither of their drivers in points since the Spanish Grand Prix. Fernando Alonso has had three retirements while Stoffel Vandoorne has finished out of points since then.

It had a disastrous qualifying in Paul Ricard where both the drivers were knocked out with Vandoorne salvaging 12th in the race as Alonso retired two laps from the end. Amid a triple header in the season, they have little time at hand to test new bits.

And so, they used the three practice sessions in Austria to gather as much data as possible with multiple set-up changes seen on camera during the broadcast. The team completed a total of 175 laps in the three sessions between the two drivers.

A statement from McLaren said: “Our Free Practice sessions in Spielberg saw us run an intensive and busy programme as we carried out a series of testing and data-gathering exercises, specifically relating to aero.

“You will have seen us carrying out lots of setup changes during practice sessions, which is an important part of running and evaluating components in preparation for upcoming races.

“At the moment, we can’t replicate our aero problems in the wind tunnel, making these testing sessions a vital part of our process. Straight off the back of the French GP, and during an intense period of back-to-back races, immediate fixes aren’t always possible, but the team are working flat out to do all that they can.

“We’ll push as hard as possible for the remainder of this weekend with the aim of adding to our points tally for the season. The support that our fans have shown us has been outstanding, we see it all and you help to boost the team. We’re doing all we can to repay you for your support, both in the short and long term.”

With the idea of gathering data, both the drivers finished lowly in the standings, however, the true pace can only be ascertain during qualifying and then the races. The team sits fifth in the standings, long way off from Renault but could lose out to Force India and Haas.

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