McLaren performance leap

McLaren racing director Eric Boullier is keen for the Woking team to turn around their fortunes at the Hungarian grand prix, and extract the full potential of the MP4-31.

McLaren struggled for form during the British Grand Prix at Silverstone, however the 2 day in-season test at the same venue enabled them to find some positives. Fernando Alonso put in a lap time of 1:31:290, on the first day clocking up 105 laps in the process. This time was half a second quicker than the Spaniard managed in Q2 during Saturday qualifying. Day 2 belonged to Stoffel Vandoorne where another 100+ laps, and a time to match Alonso’s Q2 effort enabled valuable data to be gathered and leave the team with a good feeling going into Hungary.

Boullier remains quietly confident that the team can excel at the twisty track and replicate their finish of 2015, where two cars in the top ten was one of the few highlights of a challenging year.

“We head to the Hungaroring off the back of a positive couple of days testing at Silverstone,” Boullier said. “The grand prix weekend was certainly a challenge, but knowing the characteristics of the circuit as we do, we were prepared for a difficult race, although it’s still disappointing not to have finished in the points. “The test, however, was encouraging, and we definitely maximised the track time to collate some valuable data which our engineers in the UK and Japan are putting to good use on the development of the MP4-31. “Not all will apply directly to the race in Hungary, of course, but we certainly hope that we can align the strengths of our package with the unique nature of the Hungaroring circuit. “Over the past few races, we’ve endured some bad luck, made a few small mistakes, and suffered some reliability niggles. But, if we can enjoy a smooth weekend, I’m hopeful we can fulfil the potential that our package has shown at various points throughout the season so far, on both sides of the garage, and secure a result that, statistically, we know we’re capable of on this type of circuit.”
At a track where both McLaren drivers scored their maiden victories, both Jenson and Fernando will be pushing hard to bring home the bacon.

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