MAY 4, 2016
McLaren happy with 2017 rule changes
One team happy with the new rules for 2017 is McLaren-Honda, according to its boss Eric Boullier.
Many drivers and some teams, like Mercedes, voiced opposition to the changes but Boullier said "Mercedes was against it because they are dominating" under the current regime.
For 2017, the cars and tyres are getting bigger and faster, while over the next two years the engine regulations are also being significantly tweaked.
"The elimination of the (engine) token system from 2017 is quite clearly important," Frenchman Boullier told Speed Week correspondent Agnes Carlier.
"It is also good that the cost for customer teams will be capped, which will help them," he added.
Boullier suggested, however, that the changes could actually have gone further.
"It was a very long process, the teams invested many hours in changing for the future although I'm not sure if it will really change very much," he said.
The car regulations compromise was actually based on a blueprint devised by McLaren. "As the rules change even a bit, we have a better chance," said Boullier.
"The competitors however have established their chassis over several years and while we are catching up, it takes time."
But he said 2017 and beyond should be better for those teams who specialise in making the chassis, predicting: "In the coming years Red Bull and us will have a solid chassis."
Boullier said key F1 rivals have already noticed the progress McLaren is making.
"Daniel Ricciardo praised our chassis and said that they are watching us very closely. That's a sign. McLaren and Red Bull are perhaps the best organised teams," he said.
"We are not far away now and the engine will be repeatedly upgraded all season," Boullier revealed.
The first big chassis step is coming for Barcelona, he revealed, arguing that McLaren is already "behind Williams and Toro Rosso" in the pecking order.
Then, added Boullier, it will be up to Honda to also keep improving.
"It is important that Honda can speed up the process," he said, "and understand that formula one means first actions and decisions and then analysis and planning."