McLaren have had a mixed start to the 2018 F1 season, suffering with reliability issues during the testing period but coming out with flying colours on race day, thanks to the work done on the new MCL33 post testing.
Fernando Alonso was always very optimistic about the new car, despite it having ‘bombed’ in Barcelona. And by the looks of it, Alonso was right.
The weekend in Melbourne was a slap on the face of all McLaren critics, who had jumped the gun and written off McLaren after those car failures in Barcelona.
However, McLaren haven’t really gone in with a lot of upgrades to the car in terms of increasing performance as they wanted to first ensure reliability at a rather basic level for Melbourne.
McLaren did have a few upgrades for the Australian GP, like adding new brake ducts and installing floor modifications.
The bargeboard upgrade though has been put on hold until next week in Bahrain.
“We were obviously not prepared for Barcelona and I’m glad we fixed the reliability issues for the weekend,” Eric Boullier said.
“But during the last few weeks [before the race] we spent our energy fixing the reliability issues and not bringing the upgrade faster to the track.
“So we are going to have another batch coming in Bahrain, which should have been in Australia.” he added.
The car should be in its best shape by the first European Grand Prix according to Boullier.
“I don’t know but I would say the usual answer which is first European race. It’s the catch up point where you get back to where you should have been.” he said.
Boullier though is confident of the team’s chances this season after a pained few years with Honda.
“Clearly we have to work on these kinds of characteristics, so there will be some fixes I hope in the course of the next few races,” said Boullier.
“But we are happy with the correlation [of simulation tools to on-track performance], so we have not lost what was one of the strengths of McLaren last year.
“That’s one of the reasons I guess why Fernando was supportive and happy this weekend, because we have lots of things coming that have been signed off already.
“We are now going to push to make sure we can bring things as soon as possible.” he concluded.