Eric Boullier has seen the McLaren F1 Team secure a pair of two-car top ten finishes in the opening two races of 2018, but he feels they need to make progress on a Saturday, with their Qualifying performances so far being underwhelming in both Australia and Bahrain.
Fernando Alonso and Stoffel Vandoorne have both made gains on race days in both races, with the team having already scored twenty-two points, just eight less than they managed in the whole of 2017.
Boullier, McLaren’s racing director, says there is plenty of work to be done to be truly satisfied with their performances, particularly in Qualifying, with neither driver having yet made it through to the top ten shootout this year, something they will be looking to address during this weekend’s race in China.
“We now head to Shanghai after a hard-fought couple of races for McLaren,” said Boullier. “Our results are solid but haven’t come easily, and we are by no means satisfied with our progress so far.
“We know there’s a lot of work to do and we’re working hard, day and night, to bring more performance to the car each time we hit the track. Our biggest deficit is our qualifying performance and addressing this is our priority.”
Boullier says McLaren will be looking to get on top of the conditions and the characteristics of the Shanghai International Circuit quickly during Friday’s practice sessions in China in order to maximise their potential this weekend.
“The Shanghai International Circuit is a very different challenge again to Melbourne and Bahrain,” admits Boullier.
“The long straight, high top speeds and the low and medium-speed corners mean it has a bit of everything, so our objective is to get on top of the circuit’s characteristics from Friday onwards.”