Boullier: McLaren encouraged by future Honda plans

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McLaren racing director Eric Boullier says McLaren is encouraged by Honda's development plans after improved reliability in China.

After Jenson Button was forced to retire from the Bahrain Grand Prix with a power unit problem, both cars reached the end of a race for the first time this year in China with Button in 13th, one place behind team-mate Fernando Alonso. While disappointed with the overall result, Boullier says the positive signs from Honda bode well for later in the year.

“Although we still need to find more straightline speed, the power units in both our cars performed with commendable reliability throughout all three days of the grand prix, the qualifying hour, and all the practice sessions that preceded them," Boullier said.

"So our friends at Honda should be lauded for that achievement. Equally, we’re encouraged by the power unit developments they have in the pipeline, and as a result we’re confident that our overall performance will continue to improve apace."

Head of the Honda F1 project Yusuke Hasegawa admits the final position for the team in China is a fair reflection of its current level of competitiveness.

“Throughout the eventful weekend of changing weather conditions and qualifying red flags, the drivers and the team have performed at their best, and it was a positive weekend to bring two cars home," Hasegawa said.

“We are obviously disappointed that we could not score points, but I think the race result is a good indication of where we currently are. The entire team did solid work today which will hopefully lead to better results in the future races.”

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