There is no sense of winding down towards the end of the season in Woking, as McLaren remains determined to maintain its development push as far as possible before the hard work of winter begins.
It has been a trying campaign for the multiple champions, as its reunion with Honda has failed to provide the sort of return both parties had been hoping for. However, despite the results, the team is poised to keep pushing through the final two rounds, in Brazil this weekend and Abu Dhabi two Sundays after that, in order to provide as much data as possible for its designers and engineers to work with through the off-season.
“For McLaren-Honda, after a challenging couple of races, we are looking forward to arriving at the Autódromo José Carlos Pace and pushing hard with our development for the next two grands prix,” racing director Eric Boullier confirmed, “Although the end of the season is in sight, we are still working flat-out to bring new parts to the car and maximise our learning and development until the last possible moment. We are focusing on both reliability and performance, and hope for a more positive weekend at this legendary circuit.”
Interlagos has been the scene of myriad McLaren triumphs, not least in 1991, when Ayrton Senna led from pole position, and fended off a fired-up Nigel Mansell, the onset of late-race gearbox problems and rain in the final few laps to take his MP4-6 to victory. While the team has an enviable record at the Brazilian Grand Prix, having won the race twelve times, and its drivers Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button good memories of the track having clinched all of their world titles there, all know success is unlikely this weekend but Boullier is still looking forward to the trip.
“After the drama of Austin and spectacle of Mexico, it's great to move to another hugely popular circuit in the Americas, and a track that holds great memories for the McLaren-Honda team,” the Frenchman concluded, “We've enjoyed numerous nail-biting finishes, stunning victories and tense championship battles there, and Interlagos is a venue universally loved by the whole F1 community.
“Over its incredible 78-year history, its charm is as strong as ever, and the fans are just as animated. Interlagos has an incredible heritage and it's great to see its legacy continue. It's a fantastic driver's track with lots of uniquely challenging features that the drivers love, and the fans love to watch. Although no longer the season finale, there's always a great sense of anticipation before every Brazilian Grand Prix, and this year is no different.”