McLaren: First F1 pre-season test performance nowhere near target

McLaren has admitted its performance in a difficult first week of Formula 1 pre-season testing was nowhere near the level it wanted

McLaren: First F1 pre-season test performance nowhere near target

The Woking-based team is already bracing itself for a frustrating campaign after Honda's revised 2017 F1 engine showed neither good reliability nor big progress in power terms at Barcelona.

With just four days left of testing left before the 2017 season starts in Australia on March 24-26, racing director Eric Boullier has confessed the situation is not too promising.

"It's not great, not at all at the level of what we wanted to show," Boullier told Autosport.

"We didn't run much, we didn't run enough, and we don't necessarily perform when we do run.

"But we still covered a few miles, we started working around the car and understanding how it works."

The reliability issues with an oil tank and the internal combustion engine on the first two days of the test cost McLaren valuable mileage - it racked up considerably less than half the running of Mercedes and Ferrari, while only Toro Rosso completed fewer laps.

Honda has also admitted it now has worries about the specification of engine McLaren can run at the Australian Grand Prix.

How much trouble is McLaren-Honda in?

Boullier has admitted the team is unlikely to be able to catch up on all it wanted to do before Melbourne.

"There is no solution to make up the time we lost," he said.

"Now, we need to get to the point and reprioritise the list of what we need to know.

"Then, unfortunately, some Fridays early in the season will be used as test sessions for what we should have done here.

"Nothing can be made up, you can't make up time. When time's lost, it's lost."

Boullier remains adamant that McLaren's chassis has hit performance targets, but is well aware that success this year will rest on Honda being able to turn around its situation.

Asked about the goals for 2017, Boullier said: "It depends which ones you're talking about. The goals we, McLaren, set ourselves, we achieved almost all of them.

"But our goals on track are different. We need to wait for Honda, according to what I saw this week, to make things right a little bit."

shares
comments
Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas says wind affects 2017 F1 cars more
Previous article

Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas says wind affects 2017 F1 cars more

Next article

Ferrari has made big step with 2017 F1 engine, reckons Haas

Ferrari has made big step with 2017 F1 engine, reckons Haas
The sliding doors moment that saved Red Bull and Porsche Plus

The sliding doors moment that saved Red Bull and Porsche

OPINION: Everything looked set for Red Bull and Porsche to join forces for the 2026 season, before the marriage between both parties was called off. While at the time it looked like a major coup for Formula 1 in gaining both VW Group powerhouses Audi and Porsche for 2026, Red Bull and Porsche have really been spared a potentially fractious relationship.

How Tyrrell’s post-Stewart era descended into a fight to survive Plus

How Tyrrell’s post-Stewart era descended into a fight to survive

Glory days for Tyrrell became increasingly infrequent
 after Jackie Stewart’s retirement. But in the latest instalment of his history of the team for Autosport's sister title GP Racing, 
MAURICE HAMILTON recalls how Ken Tyrrell’s plucky and defiantly small team stayed bold enough to innovate – springing a surprise with F1’s first six-wheeled car

Formula 1
Dec 6, 2022
The forgettable final car of a former F1 giant that gave Damon Hill his start Plus

The forgettable final car of a former F1 giant that gave Damon Hill his start

While it launched the F1 career 
of a future world champion, STUART CODLING recalls that the BT60 was also the final nail in the coffin of a once-great marque 30 years ago. Here is its story

Formula 1
Dec 5, 2022
How departing F1 boss Brawn views F1’s new rules - and the future Plus

How departing F1 boss Brawn views F1’s new rules - and the future

Multiple-title-winning designer and team boss Ross Brawn is finally leaving Formula 1 after nearly 50 years in motorsport. But he still has plenty of insights on what’s working and what comes next, as he revealed to Autosport in a far-reaching exclusive interview in Abu Dhabi

Formula 1
Dec 2, 2022
The key F1 management call Ferrari must make to avoid more defeat Plus

The key F1 management call Ferrari must make to avoid more defeat

OPINION: Mattia Binotto’s departure from Ferrari will naturally bring a range of changes across the Formula 1 team. But how the changes shape up and the impact they could have is set to be dictated by a key direction Ferrari’s top dogs will need to pick

Formula 1
Nov 30, 2022
The difference between Mercedes’ stumble and the fall of F1 giants Plus

The difference between Mercedes’ stumble and the fall of F1 giants

OPINION: Mercedes endured its worst season of the hybrid Formula 1 era, but was mercifully spared its first winless campaign in over a decade late on. It has owned up to the mistakes it made which led to its troubled W13. And while its task to return to title-challenging contention is not small, its 2022 season seems more like a blip than the beginning of a downward spiral.

Formula 1
Nov 29, 2022
The physical focus bringing out the best of an F1 midfield star Plus

The physical focus bringing out the best of an F1 midfield star

Esteban Ocon likes to point out he’s the first driver since Lewis Hamilton to emerge from a spell as Fernando Alonso’s team-mate with a superior overall points record. While some may disagree, as LUKE SMITH discovered, the 2021 Hungarian GP winner reckons it’s not just luck which has made him France’s pre-eminent Formula 1 driver of the moment…

Formula 1
Nov 28, 2022
How Red Bull's dynamic leader shaped its F1 philosophy Plus

How Red Bull's dynamic leader shaped its F1 philosophy

The death of Dietrich Mateschitz last month has not only deprived Red Bull of its visionary founder, it has shorn Formula 1 of one of its most influential benefactors. Mateschitz himself was famously media-shy, preferring to let the brand do the talking on his behalf. And, while it’s now normal to speak of Red Bull F1 titles and champions made, Mateschitz never assumed it would be easy or even possible – as ANTHONY ROWLINSON discovered during this previously unpublished interview from 2006…

Formula 1
Nov 27, 2022