New McLaren racing director Eric Boullier says that the team still has to find performance – but he’s confident that the new car has a lot of potential to be tapped.
“Our winter test preparations have been largely trouble-free,” said the Frenchman. “Our aim with MP4-29 was to deliver a solid and reliable platform, which we can develop throughout the season. In terms of full performance, we’re not there yet, but there’s more to come, not least because there’s a hunger and belief that’s evident throughout the entire McLaren organization.
“In fact, it’s been fascinating to observe and learn how this team operates. I can see so much potential here, the facilities are second-to-none and the people are hugely motivated. We’re all restless to make progress.”
Boullier says that the team has a solid driver line-up.
“I think the relationship between Jenson and Kevin is very strong, too. They’ve developed a shared trust, and their feedback has closely tallied, so our engineers have really benefited from their common feedback. Each has their own set of challenges going into this first race weekend, but I believe both will cope admirably, and the whole team will be there to help and support them.
“They won’t go to Australia with the fastest car, but, as this team has always done, we will build, service and engineer it to the best of our considerable abilities – and then we will race it hard. Something this team has always done brilliantly.
“This weekend looks set to be exciting, unpredictable and nerve-wracking – all in equal measure! Whether we have a race of endless incident, a procession, or a spate of mechanical retirements, I think we all go into this new era with the ambition and commitment to make it a great success.”