According to McLaren’s racing director, Eric Boulier, the teams current performance or lack of is purely down to the reliability of the Honda engine, or lack of reliability. And therein lies the problem if the Honda engine was reliable McLaren could unlock ‘seconds’ of pace declared Boulier who was speaking to f1.com.
Its a bold statement to make considering finding one-tenth of a second takes a lot of resources, time and development to extract from modern day Grand Prix cars.
Boulier gave an insight into why the Honda powered unit has proved unreliable this season, its mainly down to the hybrid systems and energy recovery components which are fragile when used to full performance parameters.
Boulier said “We’re not able to unlock the full recovery potential because if we do it creates reliability issues – and that hurts us in terms of performance,”.
Boulier also cited the lack of drive-ability from the Honda engine which was affecting lap times and that McLaren also needed to find more downforce.
“The car is pretty well balanced. We are working to bring more downforce like everybody in the pit lane. We are missing speed on every part of the track.” said Boulier.
Boulier said McLaren’s goal was realistic, to get into Q3 during qualifying and from there they should be able to fight for top six finishes by the end of the season.
Despite Honda’s struggles with adapting to the new hybrid era within F1 Boulier believes this years experiences will pave the way to a stronger 2016 which could see a significant advance from Honda.
“We have seen that Ferrari and Mercedes were able to do major steps between their first and second years. We also expect that in our case.” said Boulier.