<
>

McLaren: Late Renault switch hasn't compromised 2018

play
Tech Corner: Challenges ahead for McLaren-Renault? (2:58)

Craig Scarborough and Jennie Gow discuss the new partnership between McLaren and Renault and ask what challenges they're likely to face. (2:58)

McLaren's late switch from Honda to Renault power for 2018 has left it two weeks behind schedule, according to team boss Eric Boullier, though he does not believe it will cause a major setback to the team.

Ahead of the Singapore Grand Prix McLaren and Honda confirmed their split, triggering a shake-up of how next year's grid will look. The divorce had been rumoured since the Italian Grand Prix at the start of September after a series of meetings between McLaren, Honda, Renault, Red Bull and Formula One bosses in the Red Bull paddock.

In fact, some reports suggested the original deadline for a decision had been the Sunday of the Monza weekend, but the finer points of the split and the new deals which followed -- which saw Honda switch to Toro Rosso and Renault confirm the signing of Carlos Sainz on a 2018 loan deal -- took longer to finalise.

Though Boullier says McLaren has a period of hard work ahead to catch-up to its original targets he is confident the team will go into 2018 at full strength.

"Obviously it's a challenge," Boullier said about the delay in the split being confirmed. "Now we have to be [working] 24/7 I would say to try recover a couple of weeks where an ideal decision could've been taken. But, two weeks is recoverable.

"It won't be any compromise next year. Of course, we don't have the same experience as some of the costumers, so we have to discover the package. But, I think we can trust our engineers to do a very good job and two weeks are recoverable, but this is going to be a huge load of work and I'm glad to see there's a lot of energy going inside McLaren to try and recover as fast as possible."

Boullier thinks it is wrong to characterise the change McLaren will need to make as a "revolution", saying the design philosophy of next year's car will follow the path started with the MCL32, which the team has consistently rated as the one of the grid's best aerodynamic packages.

When asked if the delay meant shifting all its resources and focus to 2018 at the expense of the remaining races, Boullier said: "No. It doesn't mean that at all.

"It just means we are increasing the workload to make sure we can recover, and once we recover we will go back to the standard way to work and we have a different process today about work, because next year's car, despite the change of power unit, it's an evolution so there will be no revolutions. That doesn't change the way we work."