Eric Boullier: “The car is better than last year”

McLaren boss Eric Boullier says that the team has had a good start to its test programme with the new MP4-31, although the Frenchman prefers not to speculate about its ultimate potential.

Jenson Button gave the car its first miles at Barcelona this morning, and the Brit ultimately completed 84 laps and finished the day in sixth place, some 1.7s off Sebastian Vettel.

“All the numbers we found on the car are correlating with what we expected,” said Boullier. “So if you base your winter work on simulations and expectations, it’s a good sign, that means our tools are working properly, so that means the car is better than last year. We’ll see.

Asked how much better it might be he said: “It’s better. I’m not going to answer you how much, because you build the wrong expectations outside our world. And even us, we don’t know what the others have been doing over the winter.”

Boullier refused to talk in any detail about how much progress Honda has made over the winter.

“We need all the tools to do it properly. As far as I’m concerned I’m in charge of the chassis part, drivers, some of the stuff like this. On this part we are trying to be on target. As far as the engine part, you need to ask Honda. But we will win when we have the best drivers, the best chassis, the best car and the best engine.

“I think there has been some good improvement on the engine side. Clearly they are on the right path, and they have clearly fixed a few issues which were hurting us last year, so it’s good so far.”

Boullier insisted that the team is heading in the right direction.

“I think there is a good base now. If you look at the other cars like Red Bull, Mercedes and Ferrari, the current regulations force you to develop your car concept over a couple of years, or three years let’s say. So you need time, first.

“We decided last year to go radically different, and it paid off, or sort of paid off, because we caught up on some big teams last year in terms of performance. We have to see now where we are this year. I think the base is good, the confidence is there now, everybody is working hard and jointly, which is important.”


Filed under F1, F1 News, Grand Prix News, Uncategorized

4 responses to “Eric Boullier: “The car is better than last year”

  1. Mick

    I’ve read elsewhere that they are bringing a different spec engine to 2nd test and a different one again to first race.

    Are Honda tryng two approaches and going with best elements or should we see a clear step at test 2 and another for the race?

  2. Is it me, or from the tone of his statement, McLaren seem to be saying that they have done their bit and the fact that his says to ask Honda about theirs means all is not well?

    Button’s time was set on the soft tyre which also shows a false position. I hope that today was about the deployment and test two the raw power with Melbourne being the two pulled together.

  3. Even better than the real thing, which is Haas. Will support teams based on livery & not heritage in 2016. Maybe a podium for JB this season to end his career on a high would be OK, an occasional P2 for F1 oldie Fern. A massive pile-up in AUS à la 2002 may help Honda & RonClaren’s zero to zero concept. Anything but Mercedes really. I’m not taking me family to F1 races in 2016 based on Bernie’s advice.

  4. GeorgeK

    “The car is better than last year.” Could it possibly be worse? If it turns out to be worse (or just as bad) there will be mass Seppuku at Honda and rolling heads at RonClaren! Yep,borrowed that from you @p2pc2e. Has a nice ring to it!

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