Boullier wants to 'consolidate' lead

Wednesday 26-March-2014 09:26

Eric Boullier wants the McLaren drivers to 'consolidate' the lead the Woking team has at the top of the Constructors' Championship standings at this week's Malaysian Grand Prix.

McLaren made an impressive start to the 2014 season, with Kevin Magnussen and Jenson Button finish second and third in Australia after Daniel Ricciardo - who crossed the line in second place - was disqualified for contravening fuel flow regulations.

The twin podium finishes means McLaren are eight points clear of Mercedes after one race of the season.

Nico Rosberg won the race comfortable but his Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton was forced to retire early on in the race.

Boullier, the McLaren Racing Director, admitted that the McLaren MP4-29 isn't as fast as the Mercedes counterpart, but is a more reliable car at this stage of the season.

"The fact that we are leading the Constructors' Championship is a testament to the underlying strength and hunger of the organisation," Boullier told ahead of this week's race at Sepang.

"In Melbourne, we didn't have the strongest car, but we were able to manage the race superbly: we executed perfect strategies on both cars, Jenson and Kevin each drove faultlessly, and our engineers and mechanics made sure our cars operated with only minimal problems across the whole weekend.

"The aim for Malaysia will be to consolidate the position we currently have: we need to close the gap to the front, and we'll be pushing aggressively on the development front to ensure that the upgrades we bring to this race do just that. But speed counts for nothing without reliability, and our focus will be to ensure we stay on top of things to ensure we operate both cars across the weekend without any problems."

The Frenchman added that McLaren is hopeful of winning the Constructors' title and that the gap to Mercedes isn't too big to overturn during the year.

"Equally, back at MTC, we're pushing hard to ensure that the supply chain from factory to track is further refined: ours is a battle of constant development; and while we've seen one team emerge at the front, it'll be the constant, iterative developments that will upset the order," Boullier continued.

"We've got some productive programmes in the windtunnel, and our aim now is to turn these projects to reality as soon as we possibly can - this is where the championship fight will be won or lost."

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