McLaren 'not overly concerned' by reliability issues

MONTMELO, Spain -- McLaren insists its ongoing issues during pre-season testing are not a cause for concern.

Of the five days of testing completed so far, McLaren has lost out on mileage at three due to reliability and one due to extreme weather. A wheelnut issue and a loose exhaust -- caused by a £2 clip -- proved costly last week, while two battery problems and a hydraulics leak limited running when the second test got underway on Tuesday.

The issues have created a sense of deja vu among McLaren fans after a litany of problems with former engine partner Honda during pre-season in recent years, but racing director Eric Boullier insists the current issues are not as serious.

"Today wasn't the day we had hoped for on track, but, despite this, we aren't overly concerned about the issues that we've faced today," he said. "It's obviously not the productive day we had planned, but the problems -- a battery issue and a hydraulic leak -- are the types of niggles that we almost hope and expect to face during testing, in order to prepare us properly for the season ahead.

"We are here to test, and today is what sometimes happens in testing. It's not ideal, and we would have liked more track time, but we're working on it, we're learning from it, and we'll return to the track tomorrow armed with more information."

Fellow Renault engine customer Red Bull also suffered a battery problem on Tuesday and Bob Bell, the technical director of the Renault works team, explained that the issues were not specific to the customer cars and a potential concern for all Renault power units.

"The issues that we've had I don't think have any relation to the installation of the battery," Bell said. "Those problems could have affected any of the three teams, so of course it's an issue for us.

"But the reason we do this testing of those components before going to Melbourne is to find the ones that have got problems, so that when we go to Melbourne we have a stock of batteries that we are completely confident in. It's the right thing to do, we have found some that are not fit for purpose and that's great."