Eric Boullier insists McLaren’s ongoing problems during pre-season testing in Barcelona are not a result of the team’s packaging of the Renault power unit.
After Stoffel Vandoorne suffered two battery-related problems followed by a hydraulics issue that limited him to 38 laps on the opening day of the second test, Fernando Alonso stopped late in the two hours into day two due to an oil leak. McLaren needed to change the engine due to the issue and had failed to get back on track with an hour of running remaining.
The problems come alongside the team cutting cooling slots in its engine cover, but asked if the problems could be due to the rear end being too tightly packaged, Boullier replied: “I don’t think this is related now.
“We tried to design the best car, so we have to be convinced about the car concept. With every new car concept, you obviously have to prove out on track if it works or not. There is some adjustment.
“We are trying to make the best out of our car to make sure the aerodynamic platform is delivering much more. So we’ll see. Today I think we’re about to fine tune, but the problem we had with the leak is nothing related to that.”
Boullier added that the fact that McLaren is entering into a new relationship with Renault has an impact on the problems it has been facing.
“The car breaking down, yes, it’s testing, so we have some little issues which we have to fix, but it’s just testing. It’s part of the process. We are on top of this. It’s a new partnership with Renault, completely new packaging for the car as well. This is testing. Give us time and it’s fine.”
With only two days of testing remaining, Boullier is confident McLaren can make up for lost time before heading to Melbourne for the opening race.
“The time we lose in the garage is time we don’t spend on track. We had eight days of testing; obviously, a couple of them under snow conditions. We are trying to make a plan and every time we lose track time we have to revise the plan and make some other priorities, so there are some things we will not test. We have to make sure we do most of the priorities and that should be OK, that should be enough.”