Although it might look nigh on impossible at the moment, McLaren believe they’ll be challenging for “big points” in the second half of the season according to racing director Eric Boullier.
The Woking team has yet to score a single point this season following a disappointing start to its new Honda partnership, but they have come close on two occasions with Jenson Button finishing 11th in Australia and Fernando Alonso 11th in Bahrain.
However the most recent race in Spain saw Alonso retire due to a braking issue caused by a visor tear-off, whilst Button struggled for rear-end grip, describing it as the “scariest car” he’s ever driven.
After that, the Briton declared McLaren wouldn’t score a point all season unless Spain was a one-off.
Not according to Boullier who has set his sights firmly on fifth in the championship – the same position they finished last year – and regular points finishes.
“Maybe it looks stupid, but fighting for the position we finished last year,” he declared to the BBC when asked what his realistic hope was for the season.
“It is not good enough – I want to win and I hope we will win. But I have to say something realistic.
“Let’s say by the second part of the season after the summer break we are at all the races comfortably in the top-10 qualifying shoot-out and fighting for big points – I’m not saying the podium,” he added. “That for me would be a big, big achievement.”