McLaren says upgrade delivering "more than expected"

McLaren believes its latest upgrade package may be delivering even more than originally predicted, on the back of its surprisingly good form in Formula 1's Mexican GP last weekend.

McLaren says upgrade delivering "more than expected"
Eric Boullier, Racing Director, McLaren
Fernando Alonso, McLaren MCL32
Fernando Alonso, McLaren MCL32
Fernando Alonso, McLaren MCL32
Fernando Alonso, McLaren MCL32
Fernando Alonso, McLaren MCL32
Fernando Alonso, McLaren MCL32, Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF70H
Fernando Alonso, McLaren MCL32

The Woking-based team introduced a new front wing on Fernando Alonso's car from the United States Grand Prix, which is based around a concept that it wants to carry forward into its 2018 design.

Fernando Alonso hailed the step in Austin as ‘great’, and its potential was made clear in qualifying in Mexico last weekend when the Spaniard managed to set the fastest overall middle sector time in Q1.

Racing director Eric Boullier admitted that the pace had come as a bit of a surprise, but reckoned that it was proof the update was bringing more speed to the car than had been anticipated.

“Let’s say it is a little bit better than we were expecting,” Boullier told Motorsport.com about the speed shown in Mexico.

“It was a surprise. We were not expecting to be that competitive, but if you put everything relative apart, the new full package that we introduced on Fernando’s car last weekend looks like it delivers a little more than expected – which is good news. Hopefully Stoffel [Vandoorne] will have it in Brazil as well.

“It is good as a reference as well, because it is part of next year’s car, and it is good to know where we are and what we can do.”

Best car

Alonso’s speed in qualifying in Mexico left him claiming that McLaren had the best chassis in F1 at the moment.

Boullier was reluctant to back such a bold claim, as he suggested that different characteristics of the McLaren and the Red Bull meant it impossible to rank them overall.

Asked about Alonso’s comment, Boullier said: “It is nice to hear, because this is obviously the best reward a team can have.

“When you are a driver of Fernando’s calibre and he is complimentary of the chassis, then it makes me proud of the team and obviously I am proud of what we achieved.

“But I think every race is a bit different. The car characteristics are different between our car and the Red Bull car for example, so we know what is our weakness versus the Red Bull car, and I am sure they know the inverse.

“That means we still have to work. But it is good. And after we reset the car concept three years ago, to have caught up with the top teams is quite an achievement, I would say.”

shares
comments
Why Mercedes' 2017 F1 titles are its most impressive yet

Previous article

Why Mercedes' 2017 F1 titles are its most impressive yet

Next article

Why Kubica should race for Williams in Abu Dhabi

Why Kubica should race for Williams in Abu Dhabi
Load comments
Why dumping the MGU-H is the right move for F1 Prime

Why dumping the MGU-H is the right move for F1

OPINION: With its days apparently numbered, the MGU-H looks set to be dropped from Formula 1’s future engine rules in order to entice new manufacturers in. While it may appear a change of direction, the benefits for teams and fans could make the decision a worthwhile call

The floundering fortunes of F1’s many Lotus reboots Prime

The floundering fortunes of F1’s many Lotus reboots

Team Lotus ceased to exist in 1994 - and yet various parties have been trying to resurrect the hallowed name, in increasingly unrecognisable forms, ever since. Damien Smith brings GP Racing’s history of the legendary team to an end with a look at those who sought to keep the flame alive in Formula 1.

Formula 1
Sep 22, 2021
Why the 2021 title fight is far from F1's worst, despite its toxic background Prime

Why the 2021 title fight is far from F1's worst, despite its toxic background

OPINION: Formula 1 reconvenes for the Russian Grand Prix two weeks after the latest blow in ‘Max Verstappen vs Lewis Hamilton’. While the Silverstone and Monza incidents were controversial, they thankfully lacked one element that so far separates the 2021 title fight from the worst examples of ugly championship battles

Formula 1
Sep 22, 2021
How Mika Hakkinen thrived at Lotus Prime

How Mika Hakkinen thrived at Lotus

Mika Hakkinen became Michael Schumacher’s biggest rival in Formula 1 in the late-90s and early 2000s, having also made his F1 debut in 1991. But as MARK GALLAGHER recalls, while Schumacher wowed the world with a car that was eminently capable, Hakkinen was fighting to make his mark with a famous team in terminal decline

Formula 1
Sep 21, 2021
The forgotten F1 comeback that began Jordan’s odyssey  Prime

The forgotten F1 comeback that began Jordan’s odyssey 

Before Michael Schumacher – or anyone else – had driven the 191 (or 911 as it was initially called), Eddie Jordan turned to a fellow Irishman to test his new Formula 1 car. JOHN WATSON, a grand prix winner for Penske and McLaren, recalls his role in the birth of a legend…

Formula 1
Sep 20, 2021
The squandered potential of a 70s F1 underdog Prime

The squandered potential of a 70s F1 underdog

A podium finisher in its first outing but then never again, the BRM P201 was a classic case of an opportunity squandered by disorganisation and complacency, says Stuart Codling.

Formula 1
Sep 18, 2021
The other notable Monza escape that F1 should learn from Prime

The other notable Monza escape that F1 should learn from

OPINION: The headlines were dominated by the Italian Grand Prix clash between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton, who had the halo to thank for avoiding potentially serious injury. But two days earlier, Formula 1 had a lucky escape with a Monza pitlane incident that could also have had grave consequences.

Formula 1
Sep 17, 2021
How Monza only added more questions to F1's sprint race conundrum Prime

How Monza only added more questions to F1's sprint race conundrum

With two sprint races under its belt, Formula 1 must now consider its options for them going forward. While they've helped deliver exciting racing on Sundays, the sprints themselves have been somewhat lacking - creating yet another conundrum for F1 to solve...

Formula 1
Sep 16, 2021