McLaren F1 Team Racing Director Eric Boullier insists people were wrong to believe that the renewed McLaren-Honda partnership would come back into Formula 1 and be race winners straight away.
Neither Fernando Alonso or Jenson Button have yet to break into the top ten in either qualifying or the race in 2015, with both drivers having a best finish of eleventh – Button’s in Australia and Alonso’s last time out in Bahrain.
“Nobody is happy with the qualifying position and the race results we’ve had, but this is what we have,” said Boullier to Autosport.
“Neither driver is happy with the situation, but they are happy with what they can see coming, and I can tell you the atmosphere within the team is fantastic, everybody is full of work, full of commitment.
“The most important thing is we know what we are doing, where we are weak – and when I say ‘we’ I mean McLaren and Honda – and we have to work at it.
“The worse thing is to have the wrong expectations. It is true people were expecting Honda to turn up with McLaren and win everything, but that was the wrong expectation.”
Boullier expects the partnership to come good, and points to how long it took Mercedes to reach the top after coming into the sport as a manufacturer at the beginning of the 2010 season.
“Mercedes is a special case because they benefited from a big change in the regulations, which was a good move for them,” said Boullier. “But they showed there is no magic wand. You can’t turn up, bang, and win. It is impossible.
“After Brawn GP it took Mercedes four years to build their organisation, something similar with Red Bull, which is a normal cycle in racing. I’m not saying we need four years, but it is what it is, and if people don’t like it, they don’t like it.
“We are not happy to be where we are, definitely not, but we are flat-out everywhere to make sure we will get there, and we will get there properly. We want to be back for the long term, as the leading team McLaren is.
“And when I say properly, there are some steps and stages you need to go through because you can’t buy experience and time. But when we eventually get there we will be good enough for the long term.”