McLaren looks to catch up by Barcelona
20 March 2014 – McLaren is hoping to cut the gap to Formula 1's perceived frontrunners by the Spanish Grand Prix.
After Daniel Ricciardo's disqualification, McLaren duo Kevin Magnussen and Jenson Button took second and third at the Australian Grand Prix, but they finished over 25 seconds behind Mercedes's Nico Rosberg.
With Williams also showing signs of race-winning performance early in the season, McLaren is hoping that its planned development path will propel it to the front end of the grid in time for the Barcelona round in early May.
"It's true that Mercedes and Williams have some pace," said newly-appointed Racing Director Eric Boullier after the season opener. "[They are] maybe half to three-quarters of a second quicker than the rest of the field.
"We focused a lot of our testing on building a solid and reliable car as we believed – and Australia confirmed our strategy – that reliability was the key to taking big points at the beginning of the season. Now we are pushing very aggressively on performance development – we need to close the gap to Mercedes and some others.
"Our target is to catch up by Barcelona and build up over the first few races in Europe."