Boullier sure McLaren can make rapid progress once reliability woes are resolved

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McLaren racing director Eric Boullier remains confident that the team can make significant strides forward once the reliability issues with the Honda power unit are resolved.

The British team joined forces with Honda at the beginning of 2015, but the Japanese manufacturer has endured a baptism of fire in the new technical era of Formula 1.

Due to a variety of problems with the Honda power unit, McLaren has been limited to just five points from the opening nine races of the season.

Jenson Button picked up four points for eighth place at the Monaco Grand Prix in May, whilst Fernando Alonso squeezed into the top ten at Silverstone to score his first point of the season.

However, with nine retirements in the first nine races, the team is struggling to maintain the optimism that arrived with Honda at the beginning of the season.

Speaking to the official Formula 1 website, Boullier made clear that McLaren is not looking to have any stern words with Honda as the team itself is also failing to meet its own high expectations.

“We are not ready,” Boullier said. “We are not doing a good enough job right now – but we know that we have a lot of potential in our car.

“Just give us time. Once we’ve solved some of the reliability issues we will make absolutely significant steps forward.”

Boullier admitted that is was difficult to put a figure on how far behind schedule the McLaren-Honda project was, but set a clear target for what the team is hoping to achieve before the end of the season.

“If you tell me tomorrow that we can run full downforce then we will be seconds faster,” Boullier said. “We will feel competitive if we can be in Q3 all the time and fighting for top six.

“That would be a major achievement even if it doesn’t sound very exciting, as we are here to win. We still target being competitive by the end of the season.”

IndyCar releases schedule for 2023 season

IndyCar schedule 2023
Douglas Stringer/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
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The NTT IndyCar Series’ 2023 schedule will feature the same number of races and tracks as this season with some minor reshuffling of dates.

IndyCar will open the 2023 season March 5 on the streets of St. Petersburg, Florida, and will conclude Sept. 10 at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey, California. The 107th Indy 500 will take place May 28 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

The 17-race schedule will conclude with a stretch of eight races in the final nine weeks.

“The NTT IndyCar Series is on an impactful upward trajectory, making progress at a pace that befits our thrilling style of competition,” Penske Entertainment Corp. president and CEO Mark Miles said in a release. “The 2023 season provides an opportunity to further build on this trend, bringing our sport and its stars to more markets and households and reaching new consumers across the globe.”

There will be 15 events on NBC: 13 races (including six of the final seven) plus Indy 500 qualifying May 20-21. There also are three races on USA Network and the Toronto race exclusively on Peacock. All races on NBC and USA also will have live simulstreams on Peacock.

In partnership with NBC Sports, the 2022 IndyCar season was the most-watched in six years and the most-watched across NBC Sports on record. The 2022 season also was the most streamed season on record.

“We’re very excited for our 2023 NTT IndyCar Series schedule and to build on this past season’s viewership milestones,” NBC Sports vice president of programming Mike Perman said in a release. “In providing comprehensive coverage across NBC, Peacock and USA Network, NBC Sports is once again looking forward to telling the stories of these world-class drivers and this compelling series.”

Notable elements on the 2023 schedule:

–There will be the same balance of seven road course races, five street courses and five ovals.

–St. Pete will be the season opener for the 13th time.

–The Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix will move from Belle Isle to the streets of downtown.

–The NASCAR doubleheader weekend at the IMS road course will shift to mid-August.

–The World Wide Technology Raceway event will move from Saturday to Sunday.

Start times for the 2023 events will be announced at a later date.

Here’s the 2023 IndyCar schedule:


Date Race/Track Network/Platform
Sun., March 5 Streets of St. Petersburg NBC, Peacock
Sun., April 2 Texas Motor Speedway NBC, Peacock
Sun., April 16 Streets of Long Beach NBC, Peacock
Sun., April 30 Barber Motorsports Park NBC, Peacock
Sat., May 13 Indianapolis Motor Speedway (Road Course) NBC, Peacock
Sun., May 28 The 107th Indianapolis 500 NBC, Peacock
Sun., June 4 Streets of Detroit NBC, Peacock
Sun., June 18 Road America USA Network, Peacock
Sun., July 2 Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course USA Network, Peacock
Sun., July 16 Streets of Toronto Peacock
Sat., July 22 Iowa Speedway – Race 1 NBC, Peacock
Sun., July 23 Iowa Speedway – Race 2 NBC, Peacock
Sun., Aug. 6 Streets of Nashville NBC, Peacock
Sat., Aug. 12 Indianapolis Motor Speedway (Road Course) USA Network, Peacock
Sun., Aug. 27 World Wide Technology Raceway NBC, Peacock
Sun., Sept. 3 Portland International Raceway NBC, Peacock
Sun., Sept. 10 WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca NBC, Peacock

*dates and networks/platforms are subject to change