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McLaren set to carry out aggressive series of upgrades

Apr 24, 2014, 1:40 PM EST

F1 Grand Prix of China Getty Images

Shortly after a dismal Chinese Grand Prix for his team, McLaren racing director Eric Boullier noted that upgrades to the MP4-29 were in the works for not only the next round at Barcelona but for deeper into the European portion of this year’s Formula One schedule.

Today in a team teleconference, Boullier revealed how far the upgrade plan would go by saying they were already mapped out to the British Grand Prix at Silverstone in July.

“Everything is planned already,” he said according to F1′s official website. “Spain will see an interesting upgrade for the car, [while] every race will see an upgrade package.

“The good thing is we have a very, very good rate of development in the wind tunnel, so then it is just up to us to manufacture the parts and bring them on track.”

The next few months will be critical for the team as it tries to pull itself out of its slump, which has not abated since rookie Kevin Magnussen and former World Champion Jenson Button both hit the podium in the season opener in Australia.

In Shanghai, Button and Magnussen were only able to finish 11th and 13th respectively, giving McLaren the worst results among the Mercedes-powered teams.

However, Boullier believes the team is still capable of victory as the season progresses.

“We have to believe we will win a race,” he said. “I think we will be able to keep pushing to bring a very strong and aggressive development for the season.

“I think we put ourselves in a position to fight for a win – maybe not in the first part of the season, but hopefully later.”

Altogether, Boullier is hopeful that 2014 will prove to be a “benchmark year” for the team as it attempts to return to the top after a dreadful 2013 season.

“It should be seen as a year of rebuilding a winning team,” he said.

  1. techmeister1 - Apr 24, 2014 at 2:04 PM

    The same situation applies to every team this year in particular – can you bring updates to every race that close the gap quickly to the leading cars. In Mercedes’ case they need to try and stay ahead of the rest of the field and it looks like they have quite a power unit advantage in addition to a well designed car. I would be surprised to see anyone seriously challenge them for some time if at all this season.

    It shows that given enough time and money Ross Brawn can turn any company into a winning team in F1. Too bad he isn’t back at Ferrari. Then we might become a real challenge to Mercedes in short order.

    We’ll see if Ron Dennis can abuse enough of his people to get back to the front of the grid. I’m always amazed at managers who think intimidation of employees is the answer to getting them to deliver the near impossible. Anyone who doesn’t think their F1 team personnel is working 24/7 to improve the car as best is humanly possible, is naive no matter what team it is. Some times other teams hit on something substantial and other times they just have the best experienced personnel and thus they can deliver a superior car.

  2. lewymp4 - Apr 24, 2014 at 4:14 PM

    Well said techmeister1, especially your comments regarding Ron Dennis.

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