Boullier – No need for McLaren to go radical
McLaren’s recent upturn in form has convinced the team to persist with its current development programme says racing director Eric Boullier.
Boullier suggested in May that the team would turn to a more radical approach if evident progress had not been made by time of the British Grand Prix.
However, following the team’s best result since the season opening Australian Grand Prix, with fourth and seventh for Jenson Button and Kevin Magnussen at Silverstone last weekend, Boullier says he is confident that McLaren are now moving in the right direction with their development.
“Actually, it has gone better than expected,” explained the Frenchman in a McLaren phone-in.
“There won’t be any radical change now. We’re going to push as hard and as long as possible the development of this car as long as we can carry the concepts over to next year’s car.”
The Frenchman revealed that in light of the team’s recent upturn in fortunes, McLaren are now pushing to bring as many developments as possible to the MP4-29, with more upgrades to come in time for the German Grand Prix.
“The path we have now decided to follow is to push a bit further,” he added. “The upgrade package that was originally planned for Silverstone – but actually went to Austria – is doing well so now we are pushing to bring every upgrade one race earlier. So in Germany we’ll bring more upgrades than originally scheduled.”
As revealed by AUTOSPORT on Tuesday, the use of FRIC – front/interconnected – suspension systems could be banned ahead of the German Grand Prix, casting doubts over how some teams that use advanced forms of the system – which improves performance by maintaining a constant ride height – will be effected.
However, when quizzed on the possible loss of the FRIC system, Boullier admitted it was not a major worry for McLaren going into next week’s race at Hockenheim.
“Some teams may have gone extreme which is maybe why the FIA is examining this kind of system,” he said. “In the case of McLaren, we are quite relaxed to be honest – I can’t see any issue for that with us.
“I don’t know the secrets in terms of the designs used by other teams. I think in most of the teams it would not be a game-changer, but there are maybe a couple of teams that have gone extreme and may be in trouble if [they have to] switch back to a non-connective system.’
McLaren currently lie sixth in the constructors’ championship with 90 points, one point shy of Force India, and the last of the Mercedes powered teams.
Images courtesy of Octane Photographic
Dan Paddock is an FIA accredited freelance motorsport and Formula 1 journalist and the Grand Prix Editor of Richland F1. Dan joined the site in July 2013 as a Staff Writer, fresh off the back of completing a master’s degree in journalism. Following a promotion, Dan has since gone on to represent Richland F1 at four grands prix. Aside from Richland F1, Dan also writes for Rumble Strip News, as well as maintaining his own modest blog.