McLaren Honda Formula 1 Team Director Éric Boullier has said that Japan is effectively a “second home” for the Woking based outfit.
With this weekend set to be the final Japanese Grand Prix that McLaren use Honda power after a trying three years, Boullier has revealed the excitement and desire to get a good result for the numerous McLaren fans that will be at Suzuka.
“Everyone at McLaren Honda is excited to return to Suzuka for the Japanese Grand Prix, in a country that has effectively become our second home.” said Boullier, who joined McLaren at the start of 2014.
“Suzuka is one of the most iconic tracks on the entire calendar, and of course an important venue for us and our partner Honda.”
“Naturally, our aim is to do everything we can to support both them and our amazing fans there, who are among the most passionate of any country we visit all over the world.”
Boullier is encouraged by the team’s recent progress, with Stoffel Vandoorne recording seventh placed finishes in both Singapore and Malaysia, the first time McLaren have scored points in consecutive races this season.
The Frenchman is keen to continue this trend, explaining that the success has had a positive impact on the team’s spirts, with McLaren now sitting just 14 points behind eighth placed Haas F1 Team in the Constructors’ standings.
“After some encouraging signs in the past couple of races, we would like to continue the progress we are making and, particularly at this special race for the whole team, enjoy a strong result on both sides of the garage.”
“Our spirit is strong, and we’re working hard together to maximise every race weekend in an effort to make a dent on the Constructors’ Championship before the end of the year.”
The 43-year-old is aware of the importance of power around Suzuka, but remains confident in the strength of the McLaren chassis through the technical, high-speed first sector.
“We know Suzuka won’t be the easiest track on which to shine, but every team up and down the paddock loves it for its formidable twists and turns, and its unique set of challenges that make it all the more
rewarding to get right.”
“We’re all aware of its characteristically power-dependent nature, but there are technical sections, such as the flow of corners in Sector One, where our package should be better able to show it strengths, and it’ll be good to see just how fast these 2017 cars go on this track.”