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
How a bad car creates the ultimate engineering challenge Plus

How a bad car creates the ultimate engineering challenge

While creating a car that is woefully off the pace is a nightmare scenario for any team, it inadvertently generates the test any engineering department would relish: to turn it into a winner. As Mercedes takes on that challenge in Formula 1 this season, McLaren’s former head of vehicle engineering reveals how the team pulled of the feat in 2009 with Lewis Hamilton

Formula 1
Aug 15, 2022
The under-fire F1 driver fighting for his future Plus

The under-fire F1 driver fighting for his future

Personable, articulate 
and devoid of the usual
 racing driver airs and graces,
 Nicholas Latifi is the last Formula 1 driver you’d expect to receive death threats, but such was the toxic legacy of his part in last year’s explosive season finale. And now, as ALEX KALINAUCKAS explains, he faces a battle to keep his place on the F1 grid…

Formula 1
Aug 13, 2022
The strange tyre travails faced by F1’s past heroes Plus

The strange tyre travails faced by F1’s past heroes

Modern grand prix drivers like to think the tyres they work with are unusually difficult and temperamental. But, says  MAURICE HAMILTON, their predecessors faced many of the same challenges – and some even stranger…

Formula 1
Aug 12, 2022
The returning fan car revolution that could suit F1 Plus

The returning fan car revolution that could suit F1

Gordon Murray's Brabham BT46B 'fan car' was Formula 1 engineering at perhaps its most outlandish. Now fan technology has been successfully utilised on the McMurtry Speirling at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, could it be adopted by grand prix racing once again?

Formula 1
Aug 11, 2022
Hamilton's first experience of turning silver into gold Plus

Hamilton's first experience of turning silver into gold

The seven-time Formula 1 world champion has been lumbered with a duff car before the 2022 Mercedes. Back in 2009, McLaren’s alchemists transformed the disastrous MP4-24 into a winning car with Lewis Hamilton at the wheel. And now it’s happening again at his current team, but can the rate of progress be matched this year?

Formula 1
Aug 11, 2022
Why few could blame Leclerc for following the example of Hamilton’s exit bombshell Plus

Why few could blame Leclerc for following the example of Hamilton’s exit bombshell

OPINION: Ferrari's numerous strategy blunders, as well as some of his own mistakes, have cost Charles Leclerc dearly in the 2022 Formula 1 title battle in the first half of the season. Though he is locked into a deal with Ferrari, few could blame Leclerc if he ultimately wanted to look elsewhere - just as Lewis Hamilton did with McLaren 10 years prior

Formula 1
Aug 9, 2022
The other McLaren exile hoping to follow Perez's path to a top F1 seat Plus

The other McLaren exile hoping to follow Perez's path to a top F1 seat

After being ditched by McLaren earlier in his F1 career Sergio Perez fought his way back into a seat with a leading team. BEN EDWARDS thinks the same could be happening to another member of the current grid

Formula 1
Aug 8, 2022
How studying Schumacher helped make Coulthard a McLaren F1 mainstay Plus

How studying Schumacher helped make Coulthard a McLaren F1 mainstay

Winner of 13 grands prix including Monaco and survivor of a life-changing plane crash, David Coulthard could be forgiven for having eased into a quiet retirement – but, as MARK GALLAGHER explains, in fact he’s busier than ever, running an award-winning media company and championing diversity in motor racing. Not bad for someone who, by his own admission, wasn’t quite the fastest driver of his generation…

Formula 1
Aug 7, 2022