Can Mercedes be caught? McLaren’s Boullier thinks so

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The factory Mercedes squad has left rivals in their dust in terms of outright pace, and, save for Lewis Hamilton early in the Australian Grand Prix, early season reliability thus far.

Thus far though drivers with a Mercedes power unit have achieved eight of the nine possible podium finishes, and it’s that stat among other areas that gives McLaren racing director Eric Boullier hope that the factory squad can be caught.

The time gap, he said during a conference call this week, is something that can be clawed back easier this year compared to last.

“To be honest, I think it is,” Boullier said, via the official Formula One website. “It’s true that the gap is huge now, but a one-second gap is catchable. I know a lot of areas we can work on and improve, so I think they can definitely be caught.”

McLaren ended 2-3 in the Australian Grand Prix following Daniel Ricciardo’s disqualification for exceeding the fuel flow rate.

Thus far McLaren, as well as fellow Mercedes-powered teams of Force India and Williams, emerged as strongest in the pecking order in a dry weekend following the Bahrain Grand Prix.