McLaren has been forced to delay its Australia-spec upgrade package until the opening race of the season after plans to test it this week were scuppered by production delays, according to racing director Eric Boullier.
McLaren had hoped to bring a variety of new parts to the final day of testing in Barcelona in order to assess them ahead of the season, but delays have restricted what they’ve been able to run.
A new diffuser and front-wing have made it to the MP4-31 on Friday, but a new floor and nose, amongst other parts, failed to arrive in time and will therefore debut at the opening race in Melbourne a fortnight from today, with Boullier promising they will deliver extra performance.
“We are not running the full 2016-spec here,” he is quoted by F1i. “We are a bit behind the programme so that means we are going to turn up to Australia with more bits on the car which unfortunately have not been signed off here.
“In terms of the chassis it is important that we could go through all the systems which we couldn’t do last year, so for us it is a good achievement. I think now we have a reliable car more or less to start the season.
“So we are definitely more confident and I think there will be more to come now. The base sure looks OK and there will be much more performance coming in the coming weeks.”
The Frenchman played down the delays as a result of pushing the limits of what they’re able to achieve.
“It’s just manufacturing and production, nothing else. Nothing wrong, we have just been maybe too ambitious. When you stretch it sometimes it doesn’t work, so nothing wrong. Everything is fine, we just missed by one day unfortunately, and that’s it.”