McLaren F1 team says downward spiral has now ended

The McLaren Formula 1 team's improved form in recent races shows its downward spiral of technical struggle has ended, according to its racing director Eric Boullier

McLaren F1 team says downward spiral has now ended

Jenson Button qualified fifth for last Sunday's Brazilian Grand Prix and finished fourth after Williams's Valtteri Bottas was severely delayed at his second pitstop.

Button finished just 7.6 seconds behind the sister Williams of Felipe Massa, and Boullier said the improving performance of the car vindicated the extensive restructure he has undertaken since joining McLaren.

"I'm obviously very happy to be fourth, happy with the pace of the car, which is even better because we are faster than Red Bull and Ferrari so it's good," Boullier told AUTOSPORT.

"Austin was not as clear as Sochi and here, but clearly pace-wise we have closed the gap.

"Not enough, but at least the momentum is back.

"The spiral is up again and not down."

McLaren has a major upgrade planned for the season finale in Abu Dhabi, featuring a new aerodynamic concept led by the team's new chief engineer Peter Prodromou.

"Every development we have done since the summer is applicable on next year's car, so it's a whole concept I have pushed very hard for to ensure it went through," Boullier added.

"We have improved the car this year, which is very good, and everything we have learned will benefit next year's car, which is also very good."

McLaren lies a clear fifth in the constructors' championship after Brazil, but Boullier reckons the team will need some luck to overhaul the 39-point gap to Ferrari in the double points Abu Dhabi finale, despite the increasing competitiveness of the MP4-29.

"It's going to be difficult. We need both drivers to finish in front of the Ferraris and even if we take some good points it is still a lot of points to catch up," Boullier said.

"We need a very lucky race in Abu Dhabi but we will try our best."

shares
comments
'Super GP2' plan mooted to boost Formula 1 grid
Previous article

'Super GP2' plan mooted to boost Formula 1 grid

Next article

Vijay Mallya says Force India's F1 future is safe

Vijay Mallya says Force India's F1 future is safe
The pioneering F1 car that preceded Lotus’s terminal decline Plus

The pioneering F1 car that preceded Lotus’s terminal decline

In the hands of Ayrton Senna the actively suspended 99T would be the last F1 race-winning Lotus but, as STUART CODLING reveals, it was a complicated machine that caused more problems than it solved

How Tyrrell became a racing Rubik’s cube as it faded out of F1 Plus

How Tyrrell became a racing Rubik’s cube as it faded out of F1

Formula 1’s transformation into a global sport meant the gradual extinction for a small team determined to stay true to its low-budget roots. But Tyrrell would eventually be reborn as a world-beating outfit again, explains MAURICE HAMILTON, albeit in different colours…

Formula 1
Feb 4, 2023
Assessing Hamilton's remarkable decade as a Mercedes F1 driver Plus

Assessing Hamilton's remarkable decade as a Mercedes F1 driver

Many doubted Lewis Hamilton’s move from McLaren to Mercedes for the 2013 Formula 1 season. But the journey he’s been on since has taken the Briton to new heights - and to a further six world championship titles

Formula 1
Feb 2, 2023
Why new look Haas is a litmus test for Formula 1’s new era Plus

Why new look Haas is a litmus test for Formula 1’s new era

OPINION: With teams outside the top three having struggled in Formula 1 in recent seasons, the rules changes introduced in 2022 should have more of an impact this season. How well Haas does, as the poster child for the kind of team that F1 wanted to be able to challenge at the front, is crucial

Formula 1
Feb 2, 2023
The Mercedes F1 pressure changes under 10 years of Toto Wolff Plus

The Mercedes F1 pressure changes under 10 years of Toto Wolff

OPINION: Although the central building blocks for Mercedes’ recent, long-lasting Formula 1 success were installed before he joined the team, Toto Wolff has been instrumental in ensuring it maximised its finally-realised potential after years of underachievement. The 10-year anniversary of Wolff joining Mercedes marks the perfect time to assess his work

Formula 1
Feb 1, 2023
The all-French F1 partnership that Ocon and Gasly hope to emulate Plus

The all-French F1 partnership that Ocon and Gasly hope to emulate

Alpine’s signing of Pierre Gasly alongside Esteban Ocon revives memories of a famous all-French line-up, albeit in the red of Ferrari, for BEN EDWARDS. Can the former AlphaTauri man's arrival help the French team on its path back to winning ways in a tribute act to the Prancing Horse's title-winning 1983?

Formula 1
Jan 31, 2023
How do the best races of F1 2022 stack up to 2021? Plus

How do the best races of F1 2022 stack up to 2021?

OPINION: A system to score all the grands prix from the past two seasons produces some interesting results and sets a standard that 2023 should surely exceed

Formula 1
Jan 31, 2023
Who were the fastest drivers in F1 2022? Plus

Who were the fastest drivers in F1 2022?

Who was the fastest driver in 2022? Everyone has an opinion, but what does the stopwatch say? Obviously, differing car performance has an effect on ultimate laptime – but it’s the relative speed of each car/driver package that’s fascinating and enlightening says ALEX KALINAUCKAS

Formula 1
Jan 30, 2023