McLaren: season will "collapse" if we stop chassis push

McLaren racing director Eric Boullier says his team cannot afford to ease off in pushing for developments on its chassis, even though it knows it needs more engine power to properly compete with its Formula 1 rivals.

McLaren: season will "collapse" if we stop chassis push
Stoffel Vandoorne, McLaren MCL32
Yusuke Hasegawa, Senior Managing Officer, Honda
Stoffel Vandoorne, McLaren MCL32
Eric Boullier, Racing Director, McLaren, Oliver Turvey
Stoffel Vandoorne, McLaren MCL32
Eric Boullier, Racing Director, McLaren
Stoffel Vandoorne, McLaren MCL32

While the team is waiting on Honda to produce an upgraded specification power unit over the next few weeks, McLaren has been pursuing an aggressive development programme to lift its chassis performance too.

New parts – including several specifications of rear wings – were tried out on the final day of this week's Bahrain test with a view to introduction at the Russian Grand Prix.

But although McLaren knows that it has little hope of overcoming its horsepower deficit, Boullier says the worst thing it can do is sit back and wait until Honda gets its house in order first.

Asked how important it was the team kept it upgrade push on, Boullier said: "First of all because racing is in our DNA, but second because if we just give up then everything collapses. So we can't collapse.

"We are responsible for the chassis performance, so we have to make sure that we have a good chassis and that we develop it.

"Plus we need to prepare also the coming years because there will be at least two or three years of stability in the regulations. So all this platform we are building now for the future.

"We are professional and racing, and you can't just stop racing because one of your components doesn't work."

Honda response

Honda's F1 chief Yusuke Hasegawa returned to Japan immediately after the Bahrain GP to oversee progress of its engine developments on the company's dynos.

And although changes may not appear for several races, Boullier said that Honda was aware that things had to change quickly.

"If they were relaxed something would be wrong," he said. "They are very conscious about what's going on, I think.

"The concerns are the same that we may have in Europe, even if the culture is different. I think it's just the... It's racing questions: how to do it and how to get faster?

"They have tried many things. They are working very hard, but you just have to find the key to unlock the potential of this. They need to work on dynos to break through from this lack of performance."

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Series Formula 1
Teams McLaren
Author Jonathan Noble
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