McLaren team principal Eric Boullier admitted the ongoing problems with their Honda power unit is hindering the work on the team’s chassis.
“It does affect your development understanding, at least,” Boullier said at the Circuit de Catalunya.
“If you are running not fast enough you don’t put the right energy in the tyres, you don’t put the right energy in the brakes or in the car. Your ride height targets are different so there is a lot of consequences to run 15 or 18 kilometres [per hour] slower in a straight line.”
“But still we can make most of the development, let’s say most of the data we can gather just by running the car. And obviously that’s what we want to see. And again this is just to make sure the correlation with the simulation back in Woking is good. We keep the same process and the same way to design and develop the car and then we can make predictions for the future.”
“But it would be easier, yes, if we had the same speed as the others because then you have a better understanding and some different factors.”
McLaren’s MCL32 has covered 1,300km in testing so far which is the least of any team bar Toro Rosso.
“Any laps you don’t do is a loss when you have only eight days,” Boullier admitted. “There is a minimum to reach which for us is an understanding of the car and correlation. That’s the minimum we need from us, McLaren. And then we can operate from this.”
“We have enough experience and we know what we can do there. But ideally you want more mileage because the closer you go to the limit the better it is to have better prediction or simulation.”
Boullier said the team can tell “the car reacts well to any changes” and the drivers are “quite happy” with that.
But he also described how problems with the engine can make the chassis appear to be less well-balanced.
“It’s not only chassis, remember these are hybrid engines which means very early back on throttle you have electrical power which is on/off,” he said. “And then you have a turbo as well on the back.”
“So depending on your drive-ability you may have also some issues. We have some drive-ability issues which means that when you come back on power you lose the back of the car so the car looks nervous but there is nothing wrong except a drive-ability issue.”
“Or tyres, let’s say, warming up the tyres is not good enough. But still the car spec we have here is a car launch spec. We do try different bits but we will not run the full spec, the full spec will be run in Australia.”
2017 F1 season
- Stripping Verstappen of 2017 US podium was “one of the toughest decisions” – steward
- Sepang pays Haas compensation for Grosjean’s 2017 crash
- Williams revenues rose in 2017 after Bottas deal with Mercedes
- New kerbs at COTA in response to Verstappen’s corner-cutting
- Australian Grand Prix cost government £56 million last year