McLaren targeting reliability progress before winter testing

  • 09 Jan 2019 08:04
  • comments 4
  • By: Fergal Walsh

McLaren CEO Zak Brown says that he is pushing to improve the team's reliability ahead of winter testing to ensure that running throughout the eight days is smooth.

McLaren suffered from a number of reliability issues last year at pre-season testing which harmed its predictions and data heading into the new season. The campaign would ultimately be a disappointing one for the Woking squad, as it slipped towards the rear of the field as the season wore on.

But Brown says the Woking outfit is working to ensure it doesn't happen again: “I don’t want to share in detail some of the things we’re doing differently this offseason than we did last season,” Brown said.

“We are doing things differently, to be more prepared, not just with performance but we had a lot of reliability issues going into Barcelona testing last year. So we have taken some measures to get ahead of that. We will continue to develop as all F1 teams do, on a weekly basis, and we’ll bring to Australia our most developed performance that we’ve been doing here since we started developing the car and having reliability programs to make sure.

“One of the reasons why we were slower to bring performance (in 2018) is because we had reliability issues. You roll off the truck in Barcelona, instead of being able to get straight down to performance, you’re having issues — wheel nut issues, heating issues — you then stop focusing on performance and you start focusing on reliability.

“The team did a good job to give us reliability coming out of Spain testing, to have cars both finish in the points in Australia. We’re in a better place performance wise and reliability coming into winter testing.”

McLaren still content with Renault partnership


2018 marked McLaren's first year with Renault as its engine supplier, following its divorce from Honda. The Japanese manufacturer will partner Red Bull this year, but Brown is confident that McLaren will have a strong engine at its disposal.

“We’re very happy with Renault. The challenges that we had were not power unit related, those were our issues. The power unit I don’t believe was our challenge. Honda of course continue to develop and do an excellent job, that doesn’t surprise us. I’m glad they’re still in the sport because I think that’s something that was being discussed by them internally.

“Renault ended the season with I think four or five podiums, won some races, so we are confident we made the right decision for our long-term future. To get a better racecar on the track is the challenge that we have ahead of us.”

Replies (4)

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  • I really think the current McLaren is more content to be a customer team than a works team.

    • + 0
    • Jan 9 2019 - 11:54
    • Well they're not ready to be a works team are they? I mean, there is no longer a place to hide the incompetence of the last few years. It's actually good to see that they are owning up to it and stop pretending they're a sleeping giant. They're still a team that can win championships, but it's not just a single weakness in the car.

      • + 0
      • Jan 9 2019 - 21:02
    • Yeah, I just dont think McLaren is the type as it stands. They need a reference to how they perform, and need to just get the engine and design a car around it. Regardless, McLaren cant afford breaking another contract right now, so even if the opportunity arose, they'd likely have to stick with Renault.

      • + 0
      • Jan 9 2019 - 22:23
  • denis1304

    Posts: 224

    I believe they had option to stay with Mercedes one more year before switching to Honda but Ron didn't want to be customer team... probably a mistake

    • + 0
    • Jan 9 2019 - 13:17

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Date
Grand Prix
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Spain
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Spain
15 - Mar 17
Australia
29 - Mar 31
Bahrain
12 - Apr 14
China
26 - Apr 28
Azerbaijan
10 - May 12
Spain
24 - May 26
Monaco
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Canada
21 - Jun 23
France
28 - Jun 30
Austria
12 - Jul 14
United Kingdom
26 - Jul 28
Germany
2 - Aug 4
Hungary
30 - Sep 1
Belgium
6 - Sep 8
Italy
20 - Sep 22
Singapore
27 - Sep 29
Russian
11 - Oct 13
Japan
25 - Oct 27
Mexico
1 - Nov 3
United States of America
15 - Nov 17
Brazil
29 - Dec 1
United Arab Emirates
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Formula 1 Calendar - 2019

Date
Grand Prix & Circuit
15 - Mar 17
Australia Albert Park
29 - Mar 31
12 - Apr 14
26 - Apr 28
Azerbaijan Baku City Circuit
10 - May 12
24 - May 26
Monaco Monte Carlo
7 - Jun 9
21 - Jun 23
France Paul Ricard
28 - Jun 30
Austria Red Bull Ring
12 - Jul 14
United Kingdom Silverstone
26 - Jul 28
Germany Hockenheimring
2 - Aug 4
Hungary Hungaroring
30 - Sep 1
6 - Sep 8
Italy Monza
20 - Sep 22
27 - Sep 29
Russian Sochi Autodrom
11 - Oct 13
25 - Oct 27
1 - Nov 3
United States of America Circuit of the Americas
15 - Nov 17
Brazil Interlagos
29 - Dec 1
United Arab Emirates Yas Marina Circuit
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