Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Fresh start for McLaren in Barcelona this weekend

(McLaren Mercedes)

McLaren Racing Director Eric Boullier believes that this weekend's Spanish Grand Prix at the Circuit de Catalunya will mark a 'fresh push' from the Woking based outfit. McLaren have encountered a difficult few Grand Prix. Last time out in China, Jenson Button finished in eleventh place while Kevin Magnussen finished the Grand Prix in 13th place. It was the team's second non points finish in a row after both driver's suffered clutch problems in Bahrain resulting in a double retirement.

Speaking ahead of the race this weekend, Boullier said:

'For us, the weekend will be about learning, and hopefully moving on from our disappointing performance in China last month. The root of our under-performance has been comprehensively analysed; we know the areas where our package falls short, and we’ve taken steps – both short- and long-term – to address those. While not all of those will be in evidence in Barcelona this weekend, they mark the start of a fresh push and spirit within the whole organisation.
“One thing we can be sure of is that Jenson and Kevin will both be pushing to the limit. In China, it was difficult to watch two hard-pressing drives go unrewarded, but both drivers performed fantastically in Shanghai, and only lost out on points due to the inefficiency of our car.
“The McLaren Technology Centre has been bustling with intense focus and activity since our return from China, and I’m hopeful that we are on the right track to steadily start pushing ourselves back towards the front.'

Button has recorded two podium's here since his debut F1 season in the year 2000 and this includes a win in 2009.

The Englishman had this to say ahead of the race this weekend:

'It's not simply about bringing new parts to the circuit: it's about understanding and unlocking the car's secrets, and using that understanding to take bigger steps with performance, We're still at the early stages with our car, and, for us, it's less about the components that we fit to it, and more about the bigger picture – finding a useful direction, gaining trust in our measurements and pushing ahead.

'We all know that this team has the capacity to develop a car through a season, so I hope and trust that we'll start to push forwards again soon.'

Button's team mate Kevin Magnussen, who will make his first appearance at the Circuit de Catalunya as a full time Formula One driver is hoping that weekend's race will hep the team to move forward. The Dane had a fantastic start to his Formula One career as he finished in 2nd place behind race winner Nico Rosberg in Melbourne, Australia in March.

'As a team, we've had a difficult couple of races, so I think we all head to Spain hopeful of better fortunes."I think the problems we encountered in China have definitely given us the data and the impetus we need to make some changes, so I'm keen to get back in the car on Friday and see if we've made a step forward.'

McLaren head to this weekend's opening race of the European season in Barcelona in 5th place in the Constructors Championship.

©Ben Johnston 2014

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