Blaming McLaren’s problems on the ambitious cooling design of the MCL33, Eric Boullier says a rebuild prior to Australia will “fix a few issues.”
McLaren once again brought out the red flags in pre-season testing when Fernando Alonso’s MCL33 broke down on Friday morning.
It was initially thought to be a leak, however, it was later confirmed as a turbo issue prompting yet another engine change.
“We had a turbo issue in the morning which was related actually to the chassis oil leak we had on Tuesday, a consequence if you want,” Boullier told Crash.net.
“This is now under investigation.”
Despite their troubles, though, the McLaren racing director believes the team will be on top of their problems come Melbourne in two weeks.
“We want to be competitive and we are ambitious,” he said.
“We have an ambitious design around the car and you can see that the car is a little bit different from the other Renault-engined cars.
“So far we had minor issues but I think that was because we didn’t do a good job enough to prepare the car.
“We were a little bit stretched in terms of lead time and delay – but these are our issues. Very quickly we are going to get back to normal.”
He added: “I still believe we will be competitive in Australia.
“And obviously we have not done all the mileage we wanted so we don’t have all the guarantees or confirmation to answer the questions about our real pace as we still have not done anything to the limit.
“Nevertheless, we had only minor issues which were all different. I think a good rebuild of the car for Australia will help us to fix a few issues.”
The day, though, did end on a high for McLaren and Alonso as the Spaniard posted the day’s second best time, a 1:17.784, which was third fastest overall.
“When Fernando crossed the line he was happy on the radio!” Boullier admitted to Sky Sports News. “He’s in a good mood.
“That’s the boost we needed before we go racing.”