McLaren will continue to try and improve its car at this weekend’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix in order to start 2018 in a stronger position, according to racing director Eric Boullier.
2017 has been a challenging year for McLaren both on and off the track, culminating in the team agreeing to split with Honda at the end of this season in favor of a power unit deal with Renault from next year. Ahead of that significant change, Boullier says the focus is on learning as much as possible with the current chassis in Abu Dhabi as it will still form the basis for a 2018 car that he hopes will prove much more competitive.
“As we look ahead to the sun setting on the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix and the 2017 season, I’m proud of the battles we’ve fought and the achievements we’ve made as team this year, despite the lack of results and their respective influence on the championship table,” Boullier said. “Every member of our team has worked tirelessly to improve our package, race by race, and this weekend will be no exception, as we strive to make the most of every session before the close of the season for the winter shutdown.
“We use every single opportunity on track to evaluate and improve our package and learn valuable lessons for next year, and this weekend will be just as important as ever. With the relative stability in the regulations between 2017 and ’18, it means a lot of the data we’ve gathered, especially over the last few races, will still stand us in good stead over the winter and help inform the all-important decisions we make on next year’s package.”
Boullier (above) insists McLaren will maintain full commitment alongside Honda in its final race as the team looks to end the three-year partnership on a high.
“I know I can speak for the whole team when I say that each and every one of us embarks on our final grand prix weekend as McLaren Honda in Abu Dhabi with both optimism and respect. Every single person has worked incredibly hard over the past three years and remained committed through the highs and lows we’ve experienced together until the very last race.
“All of us will go into the weekend with exactly the same aim – to work hard and do everything we can to finish the season positively.”