McLaren seeks big improvements in Barcelona after challenging tests, progression in first four races


This is an important weekend for McLaren at the Spanish Grand Prix, as the team looks for its first points finish of the year with a new livery and new car updates.

The team had a trying test at the Circuit de Catalunya this winter; Fernando Alonso had his accident, and the concussion sustained forced him out of action for the season-opening Australian Grand Prix.

“We’re certainly going into the beginning of the European leg of the season with a positive frame of mind,” Eric Boullier, McLaren Honda racing director, said in a release. “Of course, we can never be satisfied with our results until we’re fighting for regular victories. However, I’m very pleased with our progress and the efforts of the entire team – both within McLaren and Honda – and we go to Spain hopeful that we can make further progress there.

“During the three-week break between Bahrain and Spain, we’ve been working very productively on every front to bring improvements to the car. We know that one fix or upgrade won’t provide a significant upturn in performance, so we’re united in our continued efforts to bring further gains to both chassis and power unit, in terms of both reliability and outright performance, step by step.”

Honda R&D’s chief officer of motorsport, Yasuhisa Arai, added:

“The short break before the Spanish GP has been good for Honda, to calmly reflect on what has happened in the first four races, to analyze what we have done well or not so well, and to make preparations ahead of the European races.

“We hope that Spain will see another incremental step forward for Honda, in which we’ve prepared updates on the power unit to help with driveability and reliability. And like us, McLaren has had a productive two weeks and will be bringing more updates to test at the track and we’ll see how the car will run together as one.”