McLaren's plans for 2018 have not been compromised after only recently announcing its new engine partner. However, racing director Eric Boullier admits that it is two weeks behind schedule. Last Friday, the Woking team confirmed that it would be ditching Honda at the end of the season.
After re-forming the iconic partnership in 205, McLaren-Honda has enjoyed no success together, with not even a podium to its name in the V6 era. Next season, McLaren will run with Renault power while Honda will supply Red Bull's junior team, Toro Rosso.
Boullier admitted that it will be a challenge to get plans back up to full speed: "Obviously it's a challenge," he said. "Now we have to be working 24/7 I would say to try recover a couple of weeks where an ideal decision could've been taken. But, two weeks is recoverable.
"It won't be any compromise next year. Of course, we don't have the same experience as some of the costumers, so we have to discover the package. But, I think we can trust our engineers to do a very good job and two weeks are recoverable, but this is going to be a huge load of work and I'm glad to see there's a lot of energy going inside McLaren to try and recover as fast as possible."
Boullier also denied that being behind schedule means that development on this year's car would halt: "No. It doesn't mean that at all," he said. "It just means we are increasing the workload to make sure we can recover, and once we recover we will go back to the standard way to work and we have a different process today about work, because next year's car, despite the change of power unit, it's an evolution so there will be no revolutions. That doesn't change the way we work."
Bahrain International Circuit - Winter testing