McLaren Honda's Jenson Button competes during the Formula One Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne on March 15.
MAL FAIRCLOUGH/AFP/Getty Images
Eric Boullier says that Jenson Button’s finish in Australia gave McLaren and Honda a huge boost as they try to find a way forward.
The car had run only 12 consecutive laps before Melbourne, where Button finished 11th after completing 56 laps.
“It’s part of the process,” said team principal Eric Boullier. “I’m not smiling yet because obviously we are not at the level of performance that we should be. There is a reliability program running on dynos 24/7, so that data is going to come and help the process. We are conducting different things. We had to down-tune the engine, so there is more potential coming. We know that some technical changes or technical solutions that we decided for this race worked, so now let’s try to make them work but up-tune the engine.”
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In Australia, Button and Kevin Magnussen were both keen to stress that felt the MP4-30 was basically a good car with no vices. Boullier agreed that it was important that the drivers remained upbeat and helped to encourage the team.
“Yeah of course. You don’t want to lose the motivation. We are professional, we are racers, and we are competitive as well. We want to be able to race and compete as the highest level as early as possible. When you are in this situation you try and find some positives, and I’m happy they found some with the car. It’s good for the team morale that they consider the car being a good base.”
Meanwhile, regarding the bigger picture and Red Bull’s calls for ‘equalization’ he said: “It’s pretty early days. I’m pretty sure that Renault and Ferrari as well have not run their full power yet. So you have to wait a little bit. The more changes we have the more money it’s going to costs, so people should think about it.”