McLaren: No doubts over Renault parity

McLaren Racing Director Eric Boullier has emphasised that the team has no doubts that it will have engine parity with Renault’s factory team in Formula 1 next season.

McLaren, following two decades with Mercedes, reunited with Honda in 2015, but the partnership was dogged by a lack of reliability and performance, accentuated by the marque’s move to a revised concept in 2017.

McLaren’s patience ran out and the company opted to split with Honda, instead signing a three-year deal to be supplied by Renault, in a straight swap with Toro Rosso.

Renault will consequently supply its own team, which finished sixth in the 2017 standings, Red Bull and McLaren, but Boullier insists he has no worries over one operation being favoured.

“I think it’s quite clear in our contract with them,” Boullier said when the notion of engine parity was raised.

“We have to do a better job than any Renault engine team.

“The parity is the same for everybody and it’s very clear in our contract with Renault.

“I don’t think Renault has any interest to have no parity in the parts.”

Boullier also underlined that McLaren was able to improve through 2017, despite finishing only ninth in the standings, amassing a mere 30 points in the process.

“You have the visible part of the iceberg which is the track performance, where actually we have improved in the year,” he said.

“Behind the scenes it has been a good year in terms of car development, in terms of strengthening the organisation, let’s call it the new McLaren – even though it’s three years old – the organisation is getting stronger.

“We have started as well to put some focus on some areas a bit left aside in the past as the performance was the priority, like pit stops for example.

“We spent time this year to improve equipment, change the training method, so that starts to pay off.

“So we are finishing fine-tuning the organisation and to see the car performing at some tracks [shows] the chassis is competitive, is the best for the team.”