McLaren F1 team says factory already made downforce gains
|By Jonathan Noble||Tuesday, April 22nd 2014, 11:10 GMT|
McLaren has revealed that its factory has already produced the downforce improvements it needs to move up the Formula 1 grid.
Efforts to lift the performance of its MP4-29 have become more urgent after a disappointing performance in the Chinese Grand Prix.
But racing director Eric Boullier insists there is no huge concern about its plight because progress back at base has been impressive in recent weeks.
However, because of the long lead time that it takes for updates to be manufactured and delivered, it may take a few races before all the upgrades are ready.
When asked by AUTOSPORT if he believed that progress would be enough to get McLaren back in to the fight behind Mercedes, Boullier said: "Definitely.
"This is 100 per cent sure because we know already back in the factory what is going to happen in the next three or four races.
"I know what is going on, so I know we are on a very good development rate.
"What we picked up now since a few weeks is good. Very good.
"I hope it is going to come sooner than later. In the windtunnel already we have picked up a lot of performance.
"Back in the factory it is fine. It is just a question of preparing everything and shipping it to the track."
Sources suggest that the rate of downforce improvement unlocked in Woking in recent weeks has been greater than it has achieved at any point over the winter.
That is the reason why the team is quietly confident that it will only take a short while to get back to the kind of performance that helped it take a double podium finish in the season-opening Australian GP.
Boullier added: "Two years ago they were winning races, so there is no reason to panic.
"It is not because you lose a few guys that the car does not work any more."