McLaren Renault Formula 1 Team‘s Eric Boullier and Zak Brown think that it is vital for the team to keep expectations realistic for the 2018 Formula One season.
The team ended their partnership with Honda as their power unit supplier last year after three seasons of poor reliability and speed deficit, and have now joined forces with Renault Sport for 2018 and beyond. Unsurprisingly, this has created a sense of anticipation from the media and fans alike, who want to see if McLaren can return to former glory, all the way from second to last in the Constructor’s Championship.
But Boullier is keen not to raise expectations too high heading into the new season.
“It is part of the game, but we need to keep it under control,” he said, speaking to Motorsport.com.
“We need to make sure that there are no strong comments – and we keep just one line: which is under promise and over deliver. That is the key
Emotionally it is hard, and it is part of my job to manage that. You have to keep it under control. You can get over excited very easily, especially after three years in the dark when you see the light coming. We have to be professional now.”
McLaren’s Executive Director Zak Brown is of a similar mindset, not wanting to pile unnecessary pressure on the team too early on, especially as he knows the eyes of the world will be on the team come the first race of the season in Melbourne.
“The team is used to fighting it out in world championships and it is something that everyone is looking forward to. It does come with more pressure, but everyone is going to rise to the occasion.
It has been a while since we have been at the front, so we need to make sure that expectations aren’t over the top for Australia.
I think we will be one of the most viewed upon teams in Australia, as everyone will want to see where we are. So we need to make sure we don’t put too much pressure on ourselves.”
Brown also acknowledges there are some areas of performance that have nothing to do with the power unit that the car is running that could be improved.
“Just look at pitstops,” he said. “They are not at the area they need to be. That has nothing to do with what power unit you have.
“We are not perfect, but that will raise everyone when the pressure is on. It is like Fernando [Alonso]. He will naturally find another tenth when he is racing at the front and I think that will happen to all of us.
“We will all taste and smell it, and subconsciously work harder because you are stepping up a little bit.”