McLaren’s Eric Boullier: “Recovering mileage was our top priority”


McLaren enjoyed a reliable day in Spain
Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd

Eric Boullier was pleased the McLaren F1 Team had a reliable final day of the first pre-season test at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, with Stoffel Vandoorne and Fernando Alonso completing a combined one hundred and sixty one laps on Thursday.

Vandoorne was second fastest overall and Alonso fifth, but for Boullier, the racing director of the Woking-based team, it was just good to get their testing programme back on track after three days disrupted by the weather and a few minor technical glitches on the MCL33.

The data they’ve gathered can now be used to prepare themselves for next weeks second test at the same venue, and Boullier insists they will be looking to get race distance and pit stop practice in next week to prepare themselves for the new season that begins later this month in Australia.

“Today we’ve run reliably all day, which is a very positive way to end the first week of testing,” said Boullier. “We had some small glitches in the first two days which caused us to lose a disproportionate amount of track time, and the weather didn’t help any of us yesterday, but today everything fell into place. 

“I’m happy we’ve finally been able to run a full test programme today and follow our plan, which has given us some solid data and feedback from the factory. Being ‘winter world champions’ on the timesheets is not of interest to us – the important things are mileage and learning – and today we’re very satisfied with what we have managed to achieve.

“Recovering mileage was our top priority in order to get back on schedule, and now we can regroup and use the data we’ve gathered to redefine our test programme for next week. Now we have the initial test programme done and under our belt, the objectives for test two are running a race distance and practising pit stops – we’re giving the latter more focus and new equipment this year, so that will be the key.”