McLaren defends "ambitious" car design amid problems

Carlos Sainz Jr Renault F1 Team

Carlos Sainz Jr Renault F1 Team

"I will be in the car, I will drive, hopefully, we will keep discovering new things on the car but if Australia was tomorrow, it's OK".

McLaren's new partnership with Renault got off to an inauspicious start as the team finished with the lowest mileage of pre-season testing, but racing director Eric Boullier says they were right to be "aggressive" with their car design.

Some of the blame might be Renault's, with Red Bull also suffering from a battery problem. So I remember from Monaco before Canada going to Paul Ricard, doing maybe a 20-lap day and there was no coverage.

Times in Barcelona have been far quicker this year than in the past, even eclipsing the efforts from last year's pre-season testing. "We just have to make sure in this strategy we leave enough time to do everything, that's the only point I would say". "They want to see more data". It feels great to drive out of the corners, especially last week in tricky, wet conditions, driveability was always spot on, so I'm very happy with that. Following a much more productive third day of running for Vandoorne, Friday saw the McLaren again stop with an oil leak, with Alonso parking the car in exactly the same place as he had earlier in the week.

"We suffered a turbo issue in the power unit early on in our morning programme, which we believe was linked to the chassis oil leak on Tuesday".

McLaren endured setbacks during the opening test, and was beset by further issues across the course of the second four-day test at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.

Pushed on whether Red Bull could be the team to beat on slow speed circuits, Marko added: "We won one race last year by our own".

"We are trying to get McLaren back to where it should be".

Ricciardo will be out of contract at the end of the year and has been linked in media reports to both Mercedes and Ferrari for 2019.

"In the afternoon session the engineers worked hard to condense our programme to provide us with as much track running as possible, and the whole team pulled together to get a significant amount of work done this afternoon", said Boullier. We did a race simulation yesterday without any issues.

"We're battling in the midfield there somewhere, but we're definitely in the fight".

His car was returned to the pits on a flatbed truck with Alonso reportedly saying it was the "engine" that caused the problem.

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