Eric Boullier, McLaren, Albert Park, 2014

McLaren ‘could be best of the rest’ – Boullier

2014 F1 season

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Eric Boullier, McLaren, Albert Park, 2014Eric Boullier says McLaren can emerge as the closest challenger to Mercedes.

The McLaren racing director echoed Jenson Button’s view that a podium finish behind the two Mercedes was possible in Bahrain.

“We were just about to overtake, potentially finish in front of the Force Indias,” said Boullier. “So I agree with this, we could be the second-fastest team after Mercedes, the best of the rest.”

“But it is very, very tight with everybody.”

Button and team mate Kevin Magnussen were sidelined with a clutch failures which Boullier described as “a one-off” for the team.

Boullier doubts Mercedes’ real advantage is as much as the 1.7 second margin they had over the field during the Bahrain race. He expects the gap will vary from track to tracks.

“Monaco is an interesting case for example,” he said, “it’s a very high downforce one but you also need to have a tractable car, a well-balanced car”.

However Boullier believes lower-downforce tracks suit the MP4-29 best at the moment. “Low-downforce tracks like Monza will be another story,” he said. “Every track layout can change the pecking order.”

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Keith Collantine
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20 comments on “McLaren ‘could be best of the rest’ – Boullier”

  1. McLaren has good pace comparing to the “rest”. But they’re far from being considered as ‘best of the rest’. Maybe with some good updates to the car they will not only be ‘best of the rest but they will be able to close that humongous gap of the Mercedes’ cars

    1. I actually think is right assesment McLaren hasn’t been a top team for a while,
      the point is what the rest means in the pecking order,
      probably right now the midfiled have divided in top and the rest.

      -Top Team

      -Midfield Top Teams
      Force India

      -Midfield Bottom (the Rest)
      Toro Rosso
      -Bottom grid

  2. At the circuits where downforce and aerodynamic effeciency is king, expect red Bull to dominate.
    I’m thinking of Monaco, Silverstone, potentially Catalunya, (I know it’s a long time til the next races on this list) Singapore, Suzuka, and potentially Brazil too.

    1. I don’t think the RB10 is that efficient aerodynamically compared to the W05. Maybe the RB10 is stronger on maximum downforce, but probably producing more drag as well. The W05 has apparently a very slim body cause of how their engine is packaged and the smaller size of the intercooler.

  3. I hear the same story from Mclaren for years now. Looks like Boulier also inherited that from Whitmarsh.

    In Bahrain Red Bull looked like closest Mercedes challengers, although it didn’t suit their car very well, considering their engine woes. Mclaren were strong, but they have to add more downforce, to compete in such circuits as Shanghai or Barcelona.

    But they can get the title of “most optimistic team on the grid”.

  4. In my opinion the front of the field is split into 3 sections. First we have Mercedes, clearly faster than everyone else. Then comes, in no particular order, Williams, Force India, Red Bull and McLaren, while just behind them is Ferrari, in my opinion kept in touching distance by their two world class drivers.

    If I had to rank them at the moment I’d say that Red Bull are second quickest over a race distance, followed by Force India, Williams and McLaren. That said, as we see every year (excepting 2013), McLaren seem to out-develop the rest of the field, so I could easily see them in 2nd come the end of the season, especially if they can do well in the last race of the season…

  5. Sorry Eric, from where I was sitting McLaren have the most work to do of all the Merc-engined teams

  6. When a team want’s to be the 2nd best, it’s all said about competition…

  7. Best of the rest ? Yeah, after Mercedes, Red Bull and Force India!

  8. McLaren simply needs Hamilton, after Hamilton left everything went down hill. McLaren does not have a driver that can lead them, i have a feeling ron Dennis is preparing everything to let Hamilton come home after he served his Mercedes contract. Sorry for Alonso but he has nowhere to go, matbe Force India lol.

    1. Hamilton left because McLaren were on a down hill, going faster and faster. I think the decision was final after yet another one of McLaren’s f….. up pit stops for Hamilton, but now I believe McLaren is definitely moving upwards again. Maybe next the Honda engine will give McLaren the edge, because Honda has this year to build on the present engines performances – at least regarding the information they are able to obtain.
      To argue that a team is lead by a driver is an exaggeration. I think F1 has proven again and again that the most important people is the lead designer (Newey), and then the guy in charge of motivating the team to perform at all levels. Of course the drivers are very important, but why does Ferrari keep failing when they have Alonso? And why did McLaren spiral down even when they had Lewis?

      1. @palle

        I think F1 has proven again and again that the most important people is the lead designer (Newey)

        Have you seen any of this year’s races, in case you missed it Mercedes are doing a little better than Red Bull!

        1. @jerseyF1: ;-) But have You made a count of how many Constructors Championsships Mercedes has, compared to RBR and Newey.

  9. “Every track layout can change the pecking order.”

    His most accurate statement.

  10. I’m beginning to think McLaren are teeing up to a big financial deal in the near future. There have been quite a few articles eminating from the McLaren camp how “fast” they are and how they’ll be the ones to take the fight to Mercedes.

    Whilst it seems like McLaren are firmly in the chasing pack, to make out that they have the legs on the Williams, Red Bull and Force India cars is a bit of a stretch, which is making me think they’re trying to inflate their profile for a sponsorship deal.

    1. You are probably right, it’s seen before in racing.

  11. Force India ‘could be best of the rest’ –
    Williams ‘could be best of the rest’
    RBR ‘could be best of the rest’
    Torro Rosso ‘could be best of the rest’
    Ferrari ‘could be …’ Nah, forget it

  12. I don’t think I am following this closely or clearly, are they still looking for sponsors,or did he issue a statement in his native tongue and the translation machine was stuck on gobbledygook. Sounds like a big dollope of faithful thinking.

    1. My machine must be stuck should have been wishful thinking, sorry.

  13. well there are some signs that McLaren can be “the next best” to Merc particularly with their renowned pace of development…but… I think that we need to see a clear performance step in the next 2 races that takes them clear of the chasing pack otherwise they will get dragged into the pack and that will affect how they race for rest of season

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