McLaren 'working hard' to avoid repeat of Suzuka struggles

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Eric Boullier says McLaren-Honda has been busy trying to understand the struggles it encountered at Suzuka in order to bounce back at this weekend’s United States Grand Prix.

Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button lacked outright pace in Japan, as the two world champions could only manage 16th and 18th in Honda’s home race.

The poor display was all the more surprising to McLaren that it was coming off a series of encouraging results and debuting its latest power unit upgrade.

“It’s no secret that we didn’t achieve the results we were looking for at Suzuka, and since returning from Japan we’ve been working hard to find the appropriate solutions to avoid a continuation of this in Austin,” Boullier said.

“The Circuit of The Americas is a very different challenge in its configuration, so we hope we’ll be able to see improved performance there. However, we mustn’t be complacent, and instead keep fighting hard as we have been all year to get the best out of our package and its strengths as we head into the final back-to-back races of the season.”

With memories of last year’s washout at COTA still fresh in mind, Boullier adds that McLaren needs to optimise its race preparations if it is to return to the points-paying positions in round 18 of this year's world championship.

“Achieving a delicate compromise to suit the varying demands of this track – fast corners, slow corners, and a long straight – will be the key to maximising our performance, and we’ll be working hard to find the right balance and set-up as soon as we hit the track on Friday.

“The first few sessions are always unpredictable as we dial in the car to the ever-changing temperatures at different times of the day, and the autumn weather often gives us the opportunity to throw any dry-weather run plan out of the window!”

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