Still too early to unleash full performance - McLaren
Eric Boullier says McLaren will not focus on pure performance until the third and final test in Barcelona.
McLaren has had a shaky start to its new partnership with Honda, though the team was braced for teething problems. On Friday racing director Boullier admitted the team was 50% behind schedule after an MGU-K issue hampered its first two days in Barcelona.
When asked if McLaren was testing any parts for performance this week, Boullier replied: "Every new part you bring is for a different purpose. This week is not for performance but development directions. Next week there should be some more parts for performance."
Boullier was then asked to confirm if he meant McLaren would only start thinking about performance at the final week in Barcelona, which starts on February 26.
"Yes, I think so anyway. You can see the car is still in a car-launch configuration. We couldn't put enough miles now to justify bringing some upgrades so next week we may see another step and Australia will see another big step.
"We have a lot of systems to check, that includes a lot of parameters and understanding the car. We have some reliability checks to do, some mileage to put on before we focus on performance and we are now using every lap we can to gather data to feedback [Honda headquarters] Sakura and MTC [McLaren Technology Centre] for them to keep doing the development programme. That's why [reliability] is a priority now."
Boullier say he is unsure whether McLaren will be as ready as it would like to be at the season-opener in Melbourne on
"To be honest, I'm not sure. We only have 12 days to get ready; if we miss half of the 12 days we will not be ready 100%. You obviously over-check when you have time because there is always reliability coming from somewhere, not only the engine part but also the car. I'm not sure we will check all the boxes but we will try to do our best."