Eric Boullier, racing director at McLaren said that the team’s pre-season testing performance has provided them with a “big boost” of confidence. The team is reeling under the horror of 2015 season and the positive signs in testing has given them hope of a good show this season. Biggest challenge for McLaren was to retain Honda, despite suffering one of the worst seasons in McLaren’s history in Formula One, last season.
Boullier said, “Last year we could not do anything on the car. Checking nothing, actually. At least this year we went through a lot – job list, to-do list and checklists”. He went on to talk about the ways in which McLaren had made progress, “In terms of systems and even the car itself, we pushed some limits on new designs we had on the car. Some of them failed, some of them not, which is a normal process of testing, but I am happy with the results”.
Boullier has however pointed out that Honda is running behind schedule as per their plan for 2016 season. Talking about the all new MP4-31 Formula One car, he said, “From the McLaren side we are on schedule. For engine, not yet”. With disappointment, he said, “The car is not yet where we want it. The engine has not yet reached the numbers that were planned for 2016 season”.
Fernando Alonso, who would continue as the top driver at McLaren is positive about the performance of the team this season and is hopeful of a few podium finishes by the second half of the season. The atmosphere at McLaren-Honda is a bit of a mix where high optimism is being opposed by the failures of previous season. The expectations from the team and its engineers have increased manifolds in this regard.