McLaren is working “flat-out” to cure its 2018 Formula 1 car rather than switching development onto 2019, according to racing director Eric Boullier. 

The Woking-based squad has made significant gains following its switch from Honda to Renault power and currently occupies fifth place in the constructors’ standings, though it has so far failed to meet pre-season expectations of achieving a return to the podium and has underperformed in some areas. 

McLaren is 16 behind the Renault works team that supplies its power units and is nearly 100 points adrift of fellow customer squad Red Bull, which has already claimed two victories in 2018. Despite new aerodynamic regulations changes being introduced next year, McLaren remains focused on extracting the potential out of its current challenger. 

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“I think it's worth developing it for a couple of reasons. The first one is to understand what's wrong and to not repeat any kind of platform mistakes in the future,” Boullier explained. 

“There's still time to develop this car, potentially curing the low-speed lack of grip which has a big impact on top performance. So those are two reasons why we should carry on.

“We also need to make sure we don't compromise next year's development as well as understanding the car. That's the balance which we are working on. 

“We are flat out on trying to cure these car issues, and to make sure we understand it, and obviously we will start soon on next year.”

Boullier admitted McLaren’s car has fallen below expectations in certain areas but has faith his team will be able to fix the issues it has faced during the opening seven rounds. 

“We have 100 per cent confidence in the group of people we have at McLaren,” he said. “We can blame some issues on the car. Definitely I think the car this year is not the car we were expecting to have.

“It's just a matter of understanding why and making sure we have the right vision and leadership for the future to conduct and make sure we can design and manufacturer competitive cars. I believe in the people we have in place today. There is a great talented bunch at McLaren.”

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