F1 »

Barcelona F1 Pre-season Test [2]: McLaren development to continue at round one

Eric Boullier has confirmed that, having failed to complete its pre- season preparation 'by a day', McLaren will still be finalising the spec of the MP4-31 in Melbourne.
McLaren racing director Eric Boullier has admitted that the beleaguered fallen giant will still be conducting the initial development of its new MP4-31 at the first race of the season in Australia.

Although pre-season testing has been more successful than the preamble to last year's troubled campaign, Boullier revealed that McLaren had not been able to complete its entire planned programme, with further additions to the car now heading straight to Melbourne rather than being tried in the more controlled conditions of the two Barcelona group tests.

"We are a bit behind the programme, so that means we are going to turn up to Australia with more bits on the car which, unfortunately, have not been signed off here," the Frenchman confirmed as eight days of testing wrapped up in Spain on Friday, “It's just manufacturing and production, nothing else. [There is] nothing wrong, we have just been maybe too ambitious.

"Everything is fine, we just missed by one day unfortunately, and that's it. It happens sometimes. You are obviously trying to stretch and to be on the edge. We wanted to give the maximum time to the aerodynamicists to develop the package and then you have to compress the lead time on the production, something will happen and then you are behind. That's it. Nothing wrong, no drama, no stories, nothing. It just happens - it happens every day and every race, to be honest.”

Unwilling to reveal exactly what had yet to be tried on the graphite-and-red machine, Boullier insisted the McLaren's preparation was already streets ahead of where it had been last year, when Honda's return to the top flight was blighted by ongoing reliability problems as it tried to play catch-up with rivals Renault, Mercedes and Ferrari.

“It's day and night," he claimed, "Last year, we couldn't do anything on the car, [and] at least this year we went through a lot of job lists and to-do lists and check lists. In terms of systems, and even the car itself, we pushed some limits on some new designs we had. Some of them failed, some of them didn't, which is a normal process of testing and I'm happy with the result.

"At least now we have covered decent mileage over the last eight days, so we are much more prepared and comfortable. I think we have been able to run at least most of the days which is very good news. In terms of the chassis, it is important that we could go through all the systems which we couldn't do last year so, for us, it is a good achievement. I think now we have a reliable car to start the season, so we are definitely more confident and I think there will be more to come now. The base sure looks OK and there will be much more performance coming in the coming weeks.”

Despite the optimism, however, Boullier refused to make predictions on McLaren's potential in Melbourne.

“No numbers, no predictions because it is going to again have the wrong expectations, so I'm not going to say anything," he insisted, "Both cars starting the race would be a challenge and both cars finishing the race would be brilliant!”

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren Honda MP4-31
Eric Boullier (FRA) McLaren Racing Director. 22.02.2016.
Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren MP4-31 covered in flow-vis paint. 03.03.2016.
Ayrton Senna - McLaren. 1993 Donington Park
Lando Norris, McLaren Autosport BRDC Awards [Credit: Martyn Pass PR]
Kimi Raikkonen tests the 2017 F1 tyres in Abu Dhabi [credit: Pirelli]
Lewis Hamilton tests the 2017 F1 tyres in Abu Dhabi [credit: Pirelli]
Daniel Ricciardo tests the 2017 F1 tyres in Abu Dhabi [credit: Pirelli]
Kimi Raikkonen tests the 2017 F1 tyres in Abu Dhabi [credit: Pirelli]
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Pirelli 2017 tyre test [Credit: Pirelli]
27.11.2016 - Race, Jenson Button (GBR)  McLaren Honda MP4-31
27.11.2016 - Race, Jenson Button (GBR)  McLaren Honda MP4-31
27.11.2016 - Race, Marcus Ericsson (SUE) Sauber C34 and Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren Honda MP4-31
27.11.2016 - Race, Jolyon Palmer (GBR) Renault Sport F1 Team RS16 and Jenson Button (GBR)  McLaren Honda MP4-31
27.11.2016 - Race, Start of the race, Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren Honda MP4-31 off trach and Max Verstappen (NED) Red Bull Racing RB12 spins
27.11.2016 - Race, Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren Honda MP4-31
27.11.2016 - Race, Jenson Button (GBR)  McLaren Honda MP4-31
27.11.2016 - Race, Jenson Button (GBR)  McLaren Honda MP4-31

Join the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.


March 05, 2016 12:03 PM
Last Edited 18 days ago

Nice paint scheme, try orange flow vis all over to create a nice aero pattern and then use it. They have got nothing else to put there and it's better than just black.

© 1999 - 2017 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.