McLaren Honda Formula 1 Team Racing Director Eric Boullier is making no promises about what sort of performance can be expected from the Woking based team in Australia this weekend, but is adamant every member of the squad will be giving it absolutely everything.
It was a tough winter test for McLaren earlier this month, when Honda engine failure, after Honda engine failure severely disrupted their preparations ahead of the new season. The Woking based squad could not have anticipated such a huge setback at this late stage in proceedings, and it has delivered a huge blow to their 2017 ambitions.
Boullier has confirmed the team have been working with Honda to try to find a solution to the issues prior to the lights going out in Melbourne on Sunday, and are still very much looking forward to getting the 2017 Formula 1 championship underway, despite the uncertainty hanging over them.
“It’s no secret we at McLaren-Honda had a more difficult two weeks of testing than we’d anticipated, and we’ve been working together closely since returning from Barcelona to address the issues we’ve faced in time for the first race of the season.
“As a team, we’re very excited to be going racing again, but aware of the unknowns that face us as the lights go out to start a new era of Formula 1.
“We don’t yet know where the formbook lies, so until we hit the track on Friday morning it’s impossible to predict how the weekend will unfold.”
McLaren are expecting a tough and testing weekend in Australia, when they will finally get to understand the true picture of the impact those pre-season problems have made, or indeed whether Honda have worked their magic and managed to find a late in the day solution.
Boullier is also keen to see if the results from testing actually play out at the first round of the season, and where McLaren truly stand in comparison to their rivals.
“It’ll be interesting for us all to see the pecking order emerge as each session goes by, as well as where our own strengths and weaknesses lie, and we’re prepared for a challenging weekend ahead.
“We will approach this season race-by-race – for us Australia will be the benchmark by which we can understand where we are in relation to the rest of the field, and what we need to do to tackle the coming grand prix.”
The Frenchman is cautious of making any predictions prior to the Australian Grand Prix, but promises McLaren fans that the team will fight to achieve the best possible outcome this weekend.
“We won’t make any promises or predictions about our performance or results, but McLaren and Honda will continue to worth together in partnership and maximise everything we have in our package.”