First McLaren-Honda test “went very well” – Boullier

2015 F1 season

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Testing Honda’s new F1 engine before the end of the year was vital for McLaren, says racing director Eric Boullier, and its first run went “very, very well”.

The team is running an interim version of its current car fitted with a Honda engine at today’s test in Abu Dhabi. It shook down the car, dubbed MP4-29/1X1, in a promotional event at Silverstone two weeks ago.

Oliver Turvey, McLaren-Honda, Silverstone, 2014“To run the engine before Christmas is very key,” said Boullier in a video filmed at the Silverstone test. “I think maybe I’m going to surprise you but it’s not technical this time, it’s more about how we can work all together.”

“Just building the cars, having both cultures under the same roof, it’s very important to, let’s say, spark the first co-operation level. And it went very well. Very, very, very well.”

“Obviously when you have a good start like this, when people learn how to work together, it’s very promising for the future.”

The Silverstone shakedown was used to “run a lot of system checks”, said Boullier. “These cars now are very high technology cars, a lot of obviously different systems.”

“We just want to run it through the reliability issue and make sure everything is working properly before we start the proper development of the McLaren-Honda car.”

Boullier said the team had a lot of work to do over the winter as McLaren adjusts to its first change in engine supplier in almost 20 years.

“Looking forward now over the course of the winter it’s going to be a big, big rush for both companies, McLaren and Honda, just to prepare for the first test in Jerez in Spain for the first of February, 2015. It’s true that a lot of work needs to be done.

“Both teams will be live and constantly connected and working hard over Christmas to make sure we are ready and to hit the track in Jerez.”

More videos on McLaren’s Honda test

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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22 comments on “First McLaren-Honda test “went very well” – Boullier”

  1. Good to try and iron out any reliability issues now than have to face them later.

  2. petebaldwin (@)
    25th November 2014, 9:58

    Sounds like they managed to get it out of the pits so that’s already one better than the Renault last year!

  3. Yeah yeah , but how does it sound . thats what we want to know.

    1. we? i couldn’t care any less about the sound of the engine!

      1. I cannot even believe we are still talking about it.

        1. because the sound is horrible & many people spoke out about it. Even drivers.

          But they can’t “bring the sport into disrepute” by reminding us of how boring the engines sound. We’ll see how the attendance is next year. Many people i spoke to will not be going back to tracks next year.

          1. “because the sound is horrible ”

            Thats your opinion, Many others have no problem with the sound of these new engine’s.

            I’ve heard these V6 turbo’s in person twice this year & I love the sound & all but 1 of my friends/family who go to races with me also love the new sound.

          2. And a poll on this website earlier in the year suggests that most fans are happy with the way they sound-

          3. Agree – not sure who completed this survey but the vast majority of people I spoke to this year were disappointed with the V6 experience.

      1. Keep in mind this may also not have the turbo mounted yet as it was a few days ago durring a filming shoot at silvverstone

        1. Turn up the volume! Best sounding V6 PU imo.

  4. I thought it was Vandoorne which was tipped to be the test driver?

  5. This is not testing at Abu Dhabi, This is testinbg a few weeks ago at Silvertone.

    I too read this expecting to read that McLaren had finally got some miles in on the Honda PU, but this was just click bait.

    1. Or maybe he’s reporting on it now because McLaren just released a press release about it?

  6. I like to add my 2 cents to this whole Honda Return thing.
    I have seen many people mentioning the previous partnership with McLaren as an indication that Honda will be on top level, but I actually tend to look more into the latest attempts by the Japanese manufacturers (not just Honda) and we can see that they struggled, and a lot, to win. Honda’s last effort was a complete one, and probably they failed due more to the car than the engine, that if I recall correctly was always considered to be very powerful. On the other hand, power is not all, since the Renault engines were never the most powerful of the lot but the most “usable”.
    So, to sum up my opinion, I am not sure that Honda will bring the team back to winning days. I hope that the engine is good because we need more competition but I have serious doubts.
    And of course, McLaren has failed badly with the car in recent seasons! They also had the best engine this year and were almost beaten by Force India. Is it possible that they had the worst Mercedes engine of all in the grid?
    A very exciting year for everybody, specially the team and their drivers, might end up being a terrible nightmare for all…
    But looking on the bright side, Renault had a terrible engine and year and still powered a car to victory in 3 races…

    1. It depends whom you read – the “Suzuka special” V10’s that Honda brought out were normally close to or were actually the most powerful engines, but because they tended to have to sacrifice a bit of reliability to achieve their power outputs, they only used those for the Japanese GP. Outside of those specials, BMW were considered to normally have the most powerful engines, with Ferrari quite close behind after that.

      During the V8 era, though, Honda did lag behind a bit – the indication is that Ferrari, Renault, BMW and probably Mercedes were all ahead of Honda in terms of outright power, and it seems that Honda fell further behind once restrictions on development work began to come into effect.

  7. McLaren is my team and the last 2 seasons have hurt. I was so hoping for news of the MP4/29H1x1 to be of how well the PU was performing and maybe something to hold onto over the winter to build expectations on, but alas, no! Vandoorne only managed 3 times laps and a couple of installation laps. This is RedBull territory from back at Jerez. I wasn’t expecting miricals but I seems today was not much more than a disaster. I’ll keep my fingers and toes crossed that tomorrow will be a better showing, although I don’t have a good feeling about it if I’m honest.

  8. Happy for Fernando and Jenson, this is good. Rock on 2015!

  9. Andrew Vanderlei
    25th November 2014, 19:18

    this is great, can we get the day-glo livery back?

  10. The PU is not even at full boost, imagine how it would sound then.

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