McLaren targets European season for performance boost

Reliability issues mean that early-season flyaways will come too soon for new Honda-powered era.

McLaren racing director Eric Boullier has admitted that McLaren’s new Honda era will not show its true potential until the European season kicks off at Barcelona in May.

As the new MP4-30 had not even yet attempted a race distance in testing, due to reliability woes with its power unit and energy recovery systems, Boullier has admitted that it had reset its goals for the early Grands Prix.

“It’s going to take a few races, at least maybe by Europe we should be ready to be more competitive,” said Boullier.

With only one more day of testing available tomorrow in Barcelona, before free practice in Melbourne begins, Boullier admitted the start of the season has effectively come too soon.

“We won’t be as ready as we would like to be,” he admitted. “We have covered most of the issues and most of the systems. The reliability is still a concern, clearly, and I don’t know how long that is going to take. We need some more miles to be done.”

More delays hamper development

The latest problem, which forced McLaren to stop testing early today with its reserve driver Kevin Magnussen, was an oil leak that was “quite deep into the chassis – we stopped because we wanted the chance to do more mileage tomorrow”.

Boullier added on the subject: “We were not expecting to cover 100 laps every day. Last year, it was the same situation for many teams. We want to win as early as possible, for that we have to be ambitious now.

“It’s going to hurt the development of the cars and the performance side, but we will recover. It’s just a delay.

“There are many areas of the car that are working, but the more miles we put into the car the problems we discover. We will have some work to do, we are still fine-tuning the engine mapping for example.”

Alonso decision next week

On the subject of Fernando Alonso’s availability for Melbourne, Boullier confirmed that he should know “Soon”.

"As soon as the green light is given by the doctors, so obviously next week, he said. "But that’s not in my hands.”

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Event Barcelona February testing II
Track Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya
Drivers Fernando Alonso , Kevin Magnussen
Article type Breaking news
Tags barcelona testing