Boullier: No reason for McLaren to panic
22 April 2014 – McLaren Racing Director Eric Boullier has said there is no reason for the team to go into 'panic mode' in the wake of another disappointing race in China.
The Woking-based outfit began the 2014 Formula 1 season positively with a two-three finish in Australia. However since then, Jenson Button and Kevin Magnussen have both struggled with the MP4-29, and Shanghai provided little relief, with the duo finishing eleventh and 13th respectively, both lapped by race winner, Lewis Hamilton.
"It is obviously bad. To have a DNS [did not score] - that hurts," Boullier told PA Sport. "One of the dangers after last year is to go into panic mode, which would make things even worse. It is why we have to go back a little and say, 'don't panic'. McLaren has won as many races as Ferrari. Two years ago they were winning races, so there is no reason to panic.
"It is not because you lose one guy, two guys, six guys or 10 that the car does not work any more. It is more the panic mode. Sometimes you have to look at yourself and think, 'Well, what the others are doing is maybe more clever'. Like any business you have to watch your competitors and try and catch up with them."
McLaren's woes have been blamed on a lack of downforce and Boullier is hopeful the squad will make some progress for the Spanish Grand Prix next month.
"We're working on it, and obviously it is going to come sooner rather than later I hope," he continued. "Already in the wind tunnel we have picked up a lot of performance, and back in the factory everything is fine, it is just a question of preparing everything and shipping it to the track.
"Some of it will be in Barcelona, whilst other things will take a bit longer than this. But we're definitely in the mix - 100 per cent sure. On the track is one thing, but we know in the factory what is going to happen in the next three or four races. I know what is going on, so I know we are on a very good development rate."
Speaking in McLaren's official post-race review, he added: "We know what we have to do, and we'll work night and day to do it."