In an interview with the media today, McLaren Racing Director Eric Boullier has stated that the McLaren team have set their sights on challenging for their first points of the season when the European leg kicks off in Spain in May.
The Woking-based squad have made steady progress since enduring a nightmare pre-season with Fernando Alonso making it into Q2 at this weekend’s Bahrain Grand Prix while he finished just outside the points in P11.
With the next race three weeks away and major chassis and engine upgrades planned, Boullier has stated in his interview with the media today that they will target points at Barcelona. Boullier stated the following:-
‘After finishing eleventh nearly on merit, if we have the increase of performance Honda promises for Barcelona then we should ideally be able to not be lapped anymore and to go for points,.
‘Our qualifying pace is still far from other ones, so Q2 should be the target and after finishing 11th in Bahrain, we want to finish in the points.’
Even though it was great to see the performance of the McLaren-Honda in the Bahrain GP this weekend, there is still a long way to go for the team. But Boullier is using what they have achieved last weekend in Bahrain to inspire and motivate his team and Honda to push for points if possible; provided that they do get the necessary leap in performance from Honda as planned.
Further on in his interview today, Boullier believes that the new parts that will be added to the MP4-30 will also help improve performance on the track. Boullier added the following:-
‘Most of the back end of the car will be new. Every race we bring new chassis parts to increase performance. Hopefully we will have some new engine technology which will allow us to unlock some performance.’
It is great to see that McLaren are bringing new parts to the car for the Spanish GP in three weeks time in order to help improve performance. I do hope as a McLaren fan that this is the case but I am also being realistic when I say that it could not work as well as they hope. But the fact that they are bringing new parts to every race shows just how determined McLaren and Honda are to get the best results possible on the track.
But overall, even though McLaren and Honda are making steps to increase their performance; let us not forget that other teams will also be bringing improvements to their cars to Spain as many pundits and fans will know after the first four races of the season. It will be hard for McLaren and Honda to achieve points in Spain as much as I would love this to be the case; but if they are able to get the performance from the upgrades, it will be a welcomed step for them and also for the McLaren fans like myself who at the moment would be happy with this result if it could be obtained.
But will McLaren achieve points in Spain? I hope so; but it will be a hard battle for them to achieve it.