Tyre management not among McLaren's problems

Tyre management is not among McLaren's problems in 2018.

That is the claim of Germany's Auto Motor und Sport, as the great British team races towards divorce with its hapless works engine partner Honda.

McLaren's actual 2017 chassis, however, is arguably one of the best in the field.

One reason for that is McLaren's approach over the winter to preparing for the new, wider and grippier Pirelli tyres.

Although Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull provided 'mule' test cars for the Italian tyre supplier to compile data, it emerges McLaren was also actively engaged with the development process.

"We were the only team to send an observer to all 24 days of testing, and we made more demands for data that the FIA and Pirelli wanted to give us initially," team boss Eric Boullier said.

"So from the beginning we had a good understanding of the tyres, without the need to build a 2015 (test) car," the Frenchman added.

Nonetheless, Honda's ongoing struggles mean McLaren is set for another bad outing this weekend in Baku, especially as the circuit has a huge 2 kilometre straight.

We reported earlier that the Japanese marque will release an intermediate upgrade for its engine in Azerbaijan, but boss Yusuke Hasegawa warned: "I think we can expect another tough challenge for the team.

"We're going through a difficult time at the moment, but we're doing all we can to rectify the situation."

(GMM)

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