Eric Boullier has ruled out making any prediction on results McLaren-Honda can produce in 2016 until the team has uncovered its full potential from the MP4-31 in a fair comparison to its rivals.
The McLaren racing director has been delighted with the positive feedback from drivers Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button while the Woking-based team is keen to continue its development of upgrades on its 2016 challenger ahead of the season opener in Australia.
Boullier says the various pre-season testing strategies used by McLaren's rivals hasn't painted a true picture of how the 2016 grid will fall into place, while he also isn't certain what McLaren's full capabilities is this season by hinting at more gains being made.
“Frankly we don't know, we can't quantify where we are,” Boullier told Crash.net
. “The car itself, we are bringing a 2016 rear wing and we are going to bring parts until Australia. I don't want to give any numbers or give any predictions but trouble is we don't know exactly where we are. We know where we are but how much we can improve.
“They [Alonso and Button] like the car itself. The chassis itself has been a big improvement, I am confident in this. With the engine mapping you can really change the numbers big time, so it is a question of what can we use without destroying everything.”
Boullier has also agreed with the general consensus that a number of teams were still running below their maximum over the final few days of winter testing and instead of making any predictions he preferred to concentrate on his own teams' efforts.
“It is more about doing the wrong prediction and then it creates the wrong expectation and then it is not good for anybody,” he explained. “It changes a little bit what you do in testing, there was hiding. Still some sandbagging now but by the end of test there should be a yardstick, then we can start to say whether we can expect some points or some podiums. It is early days. We have so many gains to do by just making sure we exploit our car.”