McLaren unsure progress will show in next two races

© XPB 

McLaren-Honda racing director Eric Boullier does not expect his team to improve as much in China and Bahrain as it did at Sepang.

Although neither Fernando Alonso nor Jenson Button could finish the Malaysian Grand Prix, the Woking-based outfit and its engine partner are confident significant headway was made after a difficult start to their season.

Having been well off the pace in Melbourne’s season-opening event, the MP4-30 looked friskier in round two thanks to Honda bringing an important update to its power unit.

While Button and Alonso occupied the penultimate row on Sunday’s starting grid, both world champions were able to race the next cars up the road. However, Boullier is doubtful McLaren will be able to have a similar leap in performance around Shanghai and Bahrain International Circuits.

“We came away from the Malaysian Grand Prix weekend feeling optimistic about our state of development and the improvements we’d made relative to our closest rivals,” he said. “However, we don’t take anything for granted, and are fully aware that the next two races probably won’t show quite the same rate of improvement as we witnessed at Sepang.

“That’s a natural consequence of the fact that, first, the performance gains we’re finding aren’t linear in fashion – some will be for performance, some for efficiency, and others for reliability; and, second, because the different tracks subtly colour and shade pace in ways that can be hard to read, particularly from the outside looking in.

“Nonetheless, we’re pushing hard on every front to improve our competitiveness, and our aim is to bring continuous developments to both chassis and power unit to every race, at a rate that enables us to catch and pass the teams ahead of us.”

Click here for Chris Medland's Chinese Grand Prix preview. 

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