McLaren is aiming to hold on to fifth place in the constructors’ championship by the end of the 2014 season and have both cars scoring points in all of the remaining races.
The Woking-based outfit moved into the top five and ahead of rivals Force India at the last race in Belgium, but the gap between the two teams is currently just two points. Williams is 45 points up the road in fourth place, with Ferrari a further 10 ahead.
The MP4-29 looked more competitive at the Spa-Francorchamps circuit and the Monza circuit, the venue for this weekend’s Italian Grand Prix, should suit the Mercedes- powered car.
Ahead of the race, racing director Boullier explained McLaren’s aims for the rest of the year. “Any weekend at the Autodromo Nazionale di Monza is a special one, and the Italian Grand Prix is always a unique, flat-out and exciting event,” said the Frenchman.
“Arriving in Italy at the end of the European summer always feels like a turning-point in the season – it’s the race at which we tend to start look towards the end of the year, and contemplate how the season will run out over the last remaining fly-aways.
“The last third of the season is always an incredibly tough challenge for the race team, both mentally and physically, so it’s important that we maintain our focus.
“Our aim for the remainder of the season is both to consolidate our position in the constructors’ championship by bringing both cars home in the points at each and every race, and also to continue to push hard to improve and refine the MP4-29.
“There will be no easing off on the gas in terms of development, as everything we learn this year will roll into next year’s technical package.”
He added: “I feel that the spirit within the team is strong: we’re continuing to push forwards, and I’m optimistic that we’ll see an improvement to our fortunes before the end of the year.”
Image courtesy of Octane Photographic