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Boullier: We'll bounce back

NEWS STORY
25/04/2014

After bursting out of the gates at the opening Grand Prix of the year in Australia, it has been rather more difficult at McLaren since. Heading to Malaysia it headed the Constructors' Championship but now, after four rounds, it is fifth.

"Australia was a bit opportunistic," admitted Eric Boullier, McLaren's Racing Director, "but we also prepare ourselves to be ready to pick up points and even podiums."

But podiums look increasingly out of reach for the Woking squad in recent races. A lack of downforce is cited as one reason, and reliability problems haven't helped, but a string of development parts in the pipeline should go some way to restoring the squad somewhere closer to the front - it may just take a while.

"In Spain we'll see an interesting upgrade on the car," the Frenchman continued. "We have picked up a very, very, very good rate of development in the wind tunnel, so it's just up to us to manufacture the parts and bring them on track.

"Everything is planned already now until Silverstone. Every race we see a different upgrade and different package."

Newly arrived from Lotus, the development pace is just one of the things Boullier has been impressed with since joining McLaren. His appraisal of Kevin Magnussen is also glowing, despite the fact the Dane has enjoyed little success since the Australian race.

"It's a completely normal progress who is a rookie driver who is stepping in to F1," Boullier reasoned. "An F1 car, set-up wise, is much more complicated than the junior categories. It is not helped by the fact the fact he has a car that is obviously difficult to drive."

The influx of development parts over the coming races should help Magnussen's cause, though they are unlikely to propel McLaren to the front of the grid in a hurry. Instead it will be a gradual process, which should see the team in the hunt for race wins more towards season's end. That's not to call the current campaign a waiting game, Boullier insists, even with Honda's arrival not far from the horizon.

"The 2013 year should be a benchmark year to never do it again," he asserted. "2014 should be seen as a year which is not a transition year but rebuilding a winning team. In the middle of this we have obviously this extra challenge to today work very efficiently with our partner Mercedes but then obviously later in the year to start to implement the Honda arrival. It's part of the challenge."

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