Published: Sun, March 11, 2018
Sports | By Sarah Myers

Give us time - McLaren plead patience with new Renault engine

Give us time - McLaren plead patience with new Renault engine

Boullier, McLaren's racing director, was pleased that the test at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya concluded on a positive note, but the power unit that suffered the turbo issue will be sent back to the Renault factory for analysis.

"We have an ambitious design that will eventually pay off", he added. "Like anything, you don't do it in one day".

Former world champions McLaren have switched from Honda to Renault engines this season and are hoping to move back up the grid after sinking to ninth of 10 teams last season.

Ferrari remained at the top of the timesheets during the final morning of pre-season testing as McLaren faced another reliability issue with Fernando Alonso at the wheel.

"They are half a second faster only, so there is not much difference because of the tarmac specification and the temperature as well".

Ferrari was the fastest again for a third year in the row with the help of their drivers Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen.

When pushed on the issues that have halted McLaren's test programme over the last fortnight, Alonso reiterated that this is what testing is all about.

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"From my feeling it [the long run pace] was actually alright, but we have to wait and see".

"He says he has seen enough to judge the vehicle", Boullier said. "Seven were good, one was wrong".

McLaren's ultimate ambition is to challenge their supremacy, but initially they expected to be battling in an increasingly-competitive midfield which is set to feature engine providers Renault. "It is more complex than ever", he said.

Haas showed up well in the timesheets and look likely to be running as best of the rest after Renault. "Hopefully we can match them".

Verstappen's bullishness about the vehicle is matched by Red Bull's motorsport advisor Helmut Marko, who thinks that the team's chassis is strong enough to fight with Mercedes.

However, despite a relative lack of mileage, McLaren are not envisaging a repeat of their nightmare start to recent campaigns with Honda. I don't think so, we just have to make sure that with this strategy, we leave ourselves enough time to do everything. We now will return to the factory armed with massive amounts of data to analyse before we head to Australia in two short weeks.

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