Jenson Button is certain that McLaren have turned a corner when compared to last year and holds hope that their upgrades will push them forward.
The team failed to score a single podium in 2013, but have already taken a second and third in the opening race of the season to take control of the Constructors’ Championship by eight points.
“Australia was a really motivational race for the entire team – even though we still have work to do, it feels like we’ve turned a corner, and that we have a racecar we can definitely work with this year,” said the Briton ahead of the Malaysian GP.
“It’s important that we keep pushing hard on the development front – we brought some useful upgrades to Melbourne, and it was encouraging that they worked straight out of the box, but it’s essential that we keep pushing new items through the development pipeline, especially at these flyaway races, where it’s harder to bring new parts to the circuit.”
Racing director Eric Boullier promises the team will take an “aggressive” approach to developing their MP4-29 and says they’ve already got some positive developments in the pipeline.
“The aim for Malaysia will be to consolidate the position we currently have: we need to close the gap to the front, and we’ll be pushing aggressively on the development front to ensure that the upgrades we bring to this race do just that.
“Equally, back at MTC, we’re pushing hard to ensure that the supply chain from factory to track is further refined: ours is a battle of constant development; and while we’ve seen one team emerge at the front, it’ll be the constant, iterative developments that will upset the order.
“We’ve got some productive programmes in the windtunnel, and our aim now is to turn these projects to reality as soon as we possibly can – this is where the championship fight will be won or lost.”