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F1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix: McLaren uses Abu Dhabi GP as early start on winter tests

Eric Boullier says a number of new parts will be run at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix as McLaren looks to commence its winter testing early
Eric Boullier says McLaren's focus at the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix will be solely for next season with a raft of new parts to be experimented with as winter testing commences early for the Woking-based squad.

McLaren's Racing Director Boullier has put a strong emphasis on the final race of the 2015 F1 championship as a head start on the intense winter of developments scheduled, as the team looks to transform its underwhelming car and cut down the sizeable gap to the leaders.

Boullier confirmed McLaren will test out a variety of new parts in Abu Dhabi to recoup as much useful data as possible for the off-season, with Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button having little left to fight for.

“Although it is the last race of the season, our development has not stopped, and we are still bringing new parts and design elements to the car for the final grand prix,” Boullier said. “Our development is constant and we place huge importance on learning at every opportunity.

“All of our efforts this weekend will be beneficial to next year's car, and it's essential that we maximise the final sessions of the year, not only to end the season on a high, but to use the invaluable information we can glean from them and channel it into tangible progress over the winter period.”

Boullier has also sent out a rallying cry to both the entire McLaren and Honda teams who have been given the arduous task of turning its challenger from lapping at the back of the field into a race-winning package.

“Our energy and commitment will continue relentlessly over the winter, with our shared goal firmly in our minds: to win,” he said. “Equally, thank you to our partners, both longstanding and new, who understand our vision and the immense work going on behind the scenes to assure us of more positive results to come.

“Last but certainly not least, I'd like to express huge gratitude to our loyal fans, who have demonstrated unwavering support through challenging times, and share our optimism for a successful future ahead. We look forward to an exciting weekend against the stunning scenery of Yas Marina, and the start of an exciting next phase for McLaren-Honda.”

McLaren has an outside shot of catching Sauber in the F1 Constructors' championship to steal eighth place in the standings, but will need to overturn an 11-point deficit – incidentally the total number of points Alonso has collected all season.

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November 24, 2015 9:10 AM

The real problem is the powerplant and they won't be testing anything new on that front. and in addition the car is so slow I wonder if any of the aero updates can be that relevant when the car is several hundred horsepower down. All teams develop continuously so they are not really gaining anything much. The crunch will come at the start of next season when the new powerplant will or will not be competitive, no amount of development can make up for the power deficit they have run this season and that is not going to change.

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