Jul 5, 2014, 7:00 AM EDT
McLaren chief operating officer Jonathan Neale has explained how McLaren still has a long way to go before it will be back at the front of the field.
After the team’s worst campaign in thirty years last season, the British team appeared to be back on song in 2014 when it secured a double podium finish at the opening round of the season in Australia.
However, since then, the team has slipped back into its 2013 rut. Both Jenson Button and new driver Kevin Magnussen have struggled for pace, but Neale explained how the recovery process is a lengthy one.
“We’ve got a lot of work to do internally to rebuild on the difficulties we have last year,” he said. “It’s well known that we’re actively strengthening the team at the moment. Eric [Boullier] and I and Ron [Dennis] are working hard to make sure we return ourselves to the performance of where we should be as quickly as possible, but it’s a tough job.
“There’s no easy way through this. There’s a lot of culture change going on, there’s a bit of strengthening of the team, there are some tough things to do, but we’re coming back.”
McLaren is currently in the last year of its deal with Mercedes before switching to Honda engines in 2015. The deal is thought to be the final factor that will take the team back to the front of the grid, and Neale shed some light on the progress being made there.
“There’s a lot of work going on in Tochigi and Sakura at the moment with Honda on the power unit,” he said. “They are responsible for the power unit including the ERS in its entirety. We are responsible for the chassis and the systems integration piece.
“Hardware is running, the clock is running and time is short and I think there is a lot of work to do before we’re ready for January of next year.”