Eric Boullier: McLaren boosted by positive test running
McLaren racing director Eric Boullier says the team’s trouble-free final day of the Bahrain in-season test has come “at the right time," after a difficult start to 2017 for the outfit.
After a disrupted first day of running in Bahrain, when Oliver Turvey managed just 17 laps in the MCL32, Stoffel Vandoorne added 81 laps to McLaren’s tally on day two, labelling it as the "first day without big problems."
McLaren did not experience any reliability issues during Wednesday’s final day of the Bahrain test, allowing the team to “push” more with settings and ideas.
A series of MGU-H problems with the Honda power unit plagued the team across the Bahrain Grand Prix weekend, while Turvey's running was limited due to a water leak in the ERS system, which required a power unit change.
Boullier says the positive track time on Wednesday has helped to boost the team and given them plenty of useful data.
“Everything has worked perfectly in terms of reliability, and we were even able to push a little bit in terms of settings,” he said after day two of the test.
“We’ve managed a ‘proper’ test day, and really made the most of every opportunity out on track.
“Everything we’ve planned, we’ve tested, and we’ve done back-to-back runs, so I’m really happy with the work we’ve completed.
“It’s complicated to understand the issues we’ve had over the past few days, since we’ve managed to run without any problems [on Wednesday], but Honda are working hard to understand where the weaknesses lie.
“We’ve been able to run with a more aggressive set-up, gathered a lot of information and tested a lot of solutions, so in terms of both data and results it’s, been a very positive day of testing.
“Oliver and Stoffel, too, have both done a sterling job, and, for Stoffel in particular, the mileage we’ve been able to cover after difficult back-to-back race weekends for him has been priceless.
“Being able to do a good amount of running on the final day has come at the right time. Now, we’ll head back to the factory with even more motivation to keep pushing forward.”
McLaren has yet to score a point this season, with Vandoorne logging the MCL32's only race finish in Australia.