McLaren’s Eric Boullier: “I’m hopeful for a positive weekend”

Eric Boullier - Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd.

Eric Boullier believes if McLaren-Honda can achieve reliability on both sides of the garage they can have a positive Malaysian Grand Prix this weekend.

McLaren had a tough Singapore Grand Prix with only Fernando Alonso seeing the chequered flag. The Spaniard made a good start and was able to avoid the incident between Carlos Sainz Jr and Nico Hulkenberg, pushing him up to fifth, but he was unable to hold this position after losing the fight with Scuderia Ferrari and settled for seventh.

Team-mate Jenson Button had his race compromised from the start after a first lap clash with Valtteri Bottas. Like Alonso, Button had to avoid the incident between Sainz and Hulkenberg but in doing so his clipped Bottas with his front wing. From here the problems continued as he retired from the Grand Prix as a precautionary measure due to soaring brake temperatures.

McLaren Racing Director Boullier believes recently they have proved their package is a firm contender in the midfield pack, feeling that if McLaren can continue to fight to maintain their position they will move closer to the front of the grid.

“The Sepang circuit poses a tough technical challenge for our mechanics and engineers,” said Boullier. “Who have to strike a delicate compromise between efficient cooling, aerodynamic performance and balance.

“If we can achieve reliability on both sides of the garage, I’m hopeful for a positive weekend. We’ve proved recently that our package is a firm contender in the midfield pack and we have the potential to finish ahead of some strong teams, so we’ll keep fighting to maintain our position and move closer to the front of the grid. 

“After a recent run of mixed fortunes on one side of the garage, our aim for the remaining races has to be to iron out reliability niggles and finish with both cars. Finally, I’d like to congratulate Jenson on his 300th Grand Prix start – a spectacular achievement for a great world champion. We look forward to celebrating this incredible milestone with him and the team this weekend.”