McLaren have had a torrid start to the F1 season enduring multiple car failures in testing, a scenario that looked a little too familiar for them after the years of frustration that the team had undergone with Honda as their engine suppliers.
With Renault coming in this time round, there was this air of expectancy in the McLaren camp, a desire, if you may, of returning to the helm of the sport. However, those little dreams almost died a torturous slow death in testing, where serious concerns were raised about the car’s reliability, and how it would now fare during racedays across the season.
While Eric Boullier had earlier appeased McLaren fans by saying that it is called ‘testing’ for a reason and the ‘halts’ had been brought about by the fact that McLaren had been a little too ‘ambitious’ with their car.
Wheel nut failure, battery issues and overheating bodywork had resulted in a frustrating two weeks at Barcelona, however, Eric Boullier(McLaren’s racing director) feels that all all the work that has gone in post testing has resolved all reliability issues and that the car is good to go.
“We didn’t have the reliability we had hoped for in winter testing, but all the issues we faced have since been addressed back at the factory,” Boullier said.
“There’s a huge amount of work going on behind the scenes to ensure we leave no stone unturned in our quest to extract the maximum pace we can from our new package from the first race.” he added.
Alonso too is optimistic about McLaren’s chances and feels that the break after testing has rejuvenated the entire team and that they are raring to go at Melbourne.
“Our car showed a lot of potential in winter testing and, although we know we still have a lot to work on, we’ve already learned a lot about the package and how all the new elements to this year’s car work together,” he said.
“Australia is its first real test, and we need to work hard all weekend to bring all the ingredients together.
“Nobody can ever predict how other teams will perform at the first race of the season and that all contributes to the excitement.
“Melbourne is a great track and, after what feels like a long winter, I’m really looking forward to seeing what we can do.” Alonso concluded.