McLaren-Honda on the verge of fighting in Formula 1's top 10

McLaren racing director Eric Boullier is convinced the team is on the verge of having a car fast enough to regularly compete in the top 10 of the Formula 1 grid

McLaren-Honda on the verge of fighting in Formula 1's top 10

While McLaren's step forward from its disastrous 2015 season was not enough to score points in the Australian Grand Prix, Boullier believes upcoming improvements planned for the MP4-31 will propel it into the top half of the field.

Australian Grand Prix driver ratings

"The the pace of the car is good, very encouraging, and we know we have something to fight with this year," Boullier told Autosport.

"We know we have a few things coming in the pipeline which should make us a regular contender in Q3.

"If you are regularly in Q3 then it's a different story. You can fight for points."

Boullier believes both Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button could have scored points in Australia, but Alonso's spectacular accident and a poor tyre choice for Button during the resulting red flag period took McLaren out of contention.

"We got it wrong with the tyre choice," said Boullier.

"The degradation was too high, we suffered with graining and then we lost the pace.

"When we went to the medium tyres we were back into the right place, but by then it was too late as we were stuck behind [Felipe] Nasr.

"We couldn't pass, even though we were much faster."

McLaren also encountered difficulties with radio transmission, although only due to technical issues, and not via the new clampdown on pit-to-car traffic.

"It was a bit of a headache," smiled Boullier.

"But we were lucky. We had a little break from the FIA.

"I don't want to go into the details, but when the FIA sent some signals, some cars had a problem with the dashboard, like us.

"We lost all communication with the dashboard, so we were allowed to communicate a couple of [items of] information.

"Normally we would not have been allowed, so there was a lot of brainstorming on the pitwall."

shares
comments
Australian Grand Prix driver ratings

Previous article

Australian Grand Prix driver ratings

Next article

Red Bull: We can take it to Ferrari in F1 2016

Red Bull: We can take it to Ferrari in F1 2016
Load comments
The tough balancing act facing Schumacher’s Netflix film producers Plus

The tough balancing act facing Schumacher’s Netflix film producers

Michael Schumacher is the latest sporting superstar to get the ‘Netflix treatment’, with a special documentary film airing on the US streaming giant’s platform this month. DAMIEN SMITH has the inside track on how the filmmakers gained access to tell the human story behind one of Formula 1’s most publicity-shy champions - while the man himself, for obvious reasons, is in absentia… 

The times that suggest Verstappen should be confident of F1 Russian GP recovery Plus

The times that suggest Verstappen should be confident of F1 Russian GP recovery

For the second race in a row, Mercedes has ended the first day of track action on top. It’s in a commanding position at the Russian Grand Prix once again – this time largely thanks to Max Verstappen’s upcoming engine-change grid penalty. But there’s plenty to suggest all hope is not lost for the championship leader at Sochi

Formula 1
Sep 24, 2021
The ‘backwards step’ that is the right move for Formula 1 Plus

The ‘backwards step’ that is the right move for Formula 1

OPINION: With its days apparently numbered, the MGU-H looks set to be dropped from Formula 1’s future engine rules in order to entice new manufacturers in. While it may appear a change of direction, the benefits for teams and fans could make the decision a worthwhile call

Formula 1
Sep 23, 2021
The floundering fortunes of F1’s many Lotus reboots Plus

The floundering fortunes of F1’s many Lotus reboots

Team Lotus ceased to exist in 1994 - and yet various parties have been trying to resurrect the hallowed name, in increasingly unrecognisable forms, ever since. DAMIEN SMITH brings GP Racing’s history of the legendary team to an end with a look at those who sought to keep the flame alive in Formula 1

Formula 1
Sep 22, 2021
Why the 2021 title fight is far from F1's worst, despite its toxic background Plus

Why the 2021 title fight is far from F1's worst, despite its toxic background

OPINION: Formula 1 reconvenes for the Russian Grand Prix two weeks after the latest blow in ‘Max Verstappen vs Lewis Hamilton’. While the Silverstone and Monza incidents were controversial, they thankfully lacked one element that so far separates the 2021 title fight from the worst examples of ugly championship battles

Formula 1
Sep 22, 2021
How F1’s other champion to emerge from 1991 thrived at Lotus Plus

How F1’s other champion to emerge from 1991 thrived at Lotus

Mika Hakkinen became Michael Schumacher’s biggest rival in Formula 1 in the late-90s and early 2000s, having also made his F1 debut in 1991. But as MARK GALLAGHER recalls, while Schumacher wowed the world with a car that was eminently capable, Hakkinen was fighting to make his mark with a famous team in terminal decline

Formula 1
Sep 21, 2021
The forgotten F1 comeback that began Jordan’s odyssey  Plus

The forgotten F1 comeback that began Jordan’s odyssey 

Before Michael Schumacher – or anyone else – had driven the 191 (or 911 as it was initially called), Eddie Jordan turned to a fellow Irishman to test his new Formula 1 car. JOHN WATSON, a grand prix winner for Penske and McLaren, recalls his role in the birth of a legend…

Formula 1
Sep 20, 2021
The squandered potential of a 70s F1 underdog Plus

The squandered potential of a 70s F1 underdog

A podium finisher in its first outing but then never again, the BRM P201 was a classic case of an opportunity squandered by disorganisation and complacency, says STUART CODLING

Formula 1
Sep 18, 2021