McLaren may be forced to go radical – Boullier
McLaren Racing Director Eric Boullier has revealed that his team may be forced to take a more radical approach in the development of the MP4-29 later in the season, if the Woking-based outfit are still struggling for competitiveness come July.
Having suffered its worse season since 1980 last year, McLaren seemed to be in resurgence after Kevin Magnussen and Jenson Button achieved a double podium finish at the season opener in Australia.
However, since then both drivers have failed to score points in three consecutive races – the first time this has occurred since 2009.
With a major series of upgrades soon expected to come to the MP4-29, Boullier expects that the team will know by the British Grand Prix in July whether their recovery plan is on track.
“Monaco and Canada are a bit special in terms of their track layout, so the question of how capable we are of catching up, and how fast we are catching up, will be for Austria and Silverstone,” explained the Frenchman.
“I’m not saying we’re going to win at Silverstone, I’m saying we’ll know more about our capability to catch up by these races.”
Pressed on whether the team would abandon the development of the MP4-29 car if the required gains had not been made by the time of the British Grand Prix, Boullier said: “I don’t think we will shift our focus to 2015.
“But it’s possible that we will draw a line after Silverstone and we may go with more radical concepts rather than going to the 2015 car – whose concept we are already working on as well.
“We have seen very, very significant progress in the wind tunnel in the last few weeks, so I think we need to just understand where we are, where we want to go,” he added.
Despite the obvious struggles of the last three races, Boullier is confident that McLaren should do better at next week’s Monaco Grand Prix, owing to the characteristics of the MP4-29.
“Monaco could be not bad for us. Our car is well-balanced in low-speed corners and very driveable, so Monaco could hurt us less.”
McLaren currently lie sixth in the constructors’ championship with 43 points.
Text image courtesy of McLaren Mercedes, featured image courtesy of Octane Photographic
Dan Paddock is an FIA accredited freelance motorsport and Formula 1 journalist and the recently appointed Grand Prix Editor of Richland F1. Dan joined the site in July of last year as a Staff Writer, fresh off the back of completing a master’s degree in journalism. He has since gone on to represent Richland F1 at the 2014 British Grand Prix, his debut in the Formula 1 paddock. Aside from Richland F1, Dan also writes for Rumble Strip News, as well as maintaing his own modest blog.