McLaren's season will hinge on Silverstone
McLaren says its season will hinge on its performances at the Austrian and British Grands Prix and that it may go "radical" with its car if results do not improve.
McLaren has now gone three races without a point and has slumped to sixth in the constructors' championship. The next two rounds of the season are on different styles of track, with the tight and twisty Monaco street circuit and the long straights of Canada's Circuit Gilles Villeneuve coming up. As a result, team principal Eric Boullier does not think McLaren will get a true understanding of whether its most recent upgrades are working until the return to more standard racing circuits in Austria and Silverstone.
"We had to go through in detail to understand why we have an underperforming car and how to develop the car, and even questioning how we bring concepts and how we develop the car on a day-to-day basis. Now we have put everything in place," Boullier told the McLaren Mercedes phone-in with journalists. "It's true that we are starting from quite far back to be honest, but we have a very good rate in terms of development.
"Monaco and Canada are a bit special in terms of their track layout, so the question of how capable we are of catching up, and how fast we are catching up, will be for Austria and Silverstone. I am not saying we will win in Silverstone, but we will know more about our capability to catch up in these races."
McLaren will switch from Mercedes engines to Honda in 2015, but rather than shift focus to next year entirely if things do not pick up, Boullier said McLaren would bring even more radical upgrades to its 2014 car.
"I don't think we will shift our focus to 2015 because, now, with the restriction we have in the wind tunnel with running the '30/30' [the choice between 30 hours of wind tunnel time per week or 30 teraflop of CFD data per week or combination of the both] - it is different to the old days when you could run 24/7 and throw a lot of energy and resources into the wind tunnel. But, it's a possible that we will draw a line by Silverstone and we may go with more radical concepts rather than going to the 2015 cars, which are concepts we are actually already working on as well."