McLaren F1 Team‘s Racing Director, Eric Boullier, is under no illusions that it will be easy for the newly unveiled MCL33 to ‘splinter the hegemony’ at the front of the grid, but is proud of the car that the team has produced.
McLaren announced that they would be changing engine manufacturers from Honda to Renault Sport in September of last year, meaning that the timeframe the team had to build a car to accommodate a completely new power unit was relatively tight.
However, the new car was launched this morning and will be completing a shakedown at a track in Spain.
The chassis of the McLaren was widely considered the second-best on the grid last year, so many people believe that McLaren could be in a position to challenge last year’s third best team, Aston Martin Red Bull Racing in the upcoming season.
Both have strong chassis and both will be running the Renault power unit.
Boullier is reluctant to believe that the team will automatically be in a position to jump from the ninth best team on the grid to ‘best of the rest’ spot.
“I think the whole team feels proud of this car,” he said. “The design, engineering and aerodynamic departments have done an incredible job delivering a new car with a new power unit in an extremely short timeframe.
“We never took the easy route or looked to shortcut a process or a solution, and the result is a car that is neat and well-resolved.
“That said, we are under no illusions that it will be difficult to splinter the hegemony at the front; and that the midfield will be full of well-funded, experienced outfits with plenty to prove.
“We are humble about the challenge ahead, but feel we’ve prepared well, have a solid package that we can build upon and exploit as the season progresses, and have two excellent drivers who will make the difference in races.
“At McLaren, we are all racers – pure and simple. We’re going to come out pushing, and we’re going to be racing as hard as ever.”