McLaren-Honda racing director Eric Boullier says the remaining nine circuits on the 2016 calendar provide equal opportunities and potential strong races for each of the midfield teams as the squad prepares for the second half of the campaign after the summer break.
Boullier and McLaren concedes the Spa-Francorchamps circuit won't favour its Honda power unit against its Mercedes-powered rivals but feels the split between power tracks and those more dependent on better aerodynamic and chassis set-ups is evenly spread over the final nine races.
After Spa the F1 paddock heads straight to Monza to conclude the European stint of the season before traveling East for Singapore, Sepang and Suzuka. The flyaways continue over in the West with trips to Texas, Mexico City, and Sao Paulo before the finale in Abu Dhabi.
“We are now just over halfway through, and ready to fight again to achieve our end-of-season goals,” Boullier said. “The midfield pack is particularly close, and each team is stronger on different circuits, so there'll be no let-up in in how hard we push or the developments we bring to the car in our bid to continue our progress through the rest of the season and into next year.”
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Boullier also stressed that any further updates or changes to the MP4-31 will only be made with one eye on next season ahead of the regulations revamp as it looks to improve upon its current seventh place in the F1 world constructors' standing.
“Together McLaren-Honda is continuing to push hard and everything we bring to the car – be it on the chassis or power unit side – is valuable learning for next year,” he said. “We've enjoyed a couple of weeks away from Formula 1, but our ambition is as strong as ever, and we're definitely ready to go racing again.”
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McLaren returns to action at Spa just three points behind Toro Rosso in the teams' standings while holding a 14-point advantage over Haas.