McLaren-Honda racing director Eric Boullier says the team will pursue its full car developments on the MP4-31 all the way to the last race of the season despite having also turned attention to its 2017 challenger.
With the British team confident the majority of upcoming tracks will suit its strengths in the run of rounds towards the end of the season, Boullier says development work on the 2016 car both at the flyaway races and at its Woking base will continue as it looks to maximise its results.
Alonso: McLaren can fight at the front
Fernando Alonso feels McLaren can challenge some of the front-runners at tracks which are not power dependent, such as Singapore and Abu Dhabi, which adds emphasis to its push before the 2017 regulations revamp.
“Despite spending the next few weeks far away from the UK, our development push is still ongoing and we're still working hard on achieving performance improvements right up to the end of the season,” Boullier said. “As we begin the final set of flyaways before the end of the season, we go to territories where we race at circuits that require a more technical car set-up, with less reliance on pure power.”
Aiding the late development push Honda chief Yusuke Hasegawa has outlined the power unit manufacturer's targets for the rest of the year with a strong focus on improving the driveability to suit the tight and twisty circuits.
“The car set-up will need to change drastically to adjust the package from the fast-paced circuits of Spa and Monza, to Singapore's twistier city circuit, so the team is already busy in preparation,” Hasegawa said. “Our car has good balance under braking, so the nature of the track should suit us more than the previous circuits.
“Honda will work to match the driveability of the power unit to suit the needs of the stop-and-go nature of the circuit, so that our drivers' skills can shine throughout the weekend. We hope to be in a good position to score points and have a good race.”
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