McLaren racing director Eric Boullier believes the team will win a race in 2014 despite a recent slump in form.
After finishing with two cars on the podium at the season-opening Australian Grand Prix, McLaren has struggled since then and both cars retired in Bahrain before neither Jenson Button nor Kevin Magnussen could finish in the points in China on Sunday. With Ron Dennis having previously said the team would win races this year
, Boullier said during a McLaren phone-in that he still holds the same belief.
“Obviously we have to believe we will win a race,” Boullier said. “If you look at it in detail obviously it looks like we are slipping back since the beginning of the season. It's true that Australia was a bit optimistic but we also prepared ourselves to be ready to pick up points and even podiums from the others.
“Definitely I made it clear that the lack of downforce is obviously hurting us when you have very hot conditions or very cold like we had in China, and there is a technical reason for that. I think what is going on here in Woking is very positive and we will be able to keep pushing and bring let's say a very aggressive and strong development over the course of the season.
“I think we will put ourselves in a position – maybe not in the first part of the season but maybe later – to fight for a win. I hope so, yes.”
And while Boullier said he hoped to see big strides made with the car at the Spanish Grand Prix, he also said the windtunnel figures were encouraging for a number of future updates.
“Spain will see an interesting upgrade on the car, but everything is planned already from now until Silverstone. But every race will see a different upgrade and different package. So this is as long as we can see and forecast any upgrade is Silverstone today.
“The good thing is that we have picked up a very, very good rate of development in the windtunnel so then it's just up to us to manufacture the parts and bring them to the track.”