MAY 27, 2015
McLaren-Honda planning big mid-season upgrades
McLaren is preparing a big upgrade package for June's Austrian grand prix.
After only missing points in Monaco due to another reliability problem, Fernando Alonso said he is expecting the Honda-powered team to struggle on the long straights of Canada next weekend.
But he told Spanish reporters: "We have a very aggressive plan for Austria, which is a key race for us."
Team boss Eric Boullier confirmed that the MP4-30 will feature many improvements at the Red Bull Ring in late June.
"I have asked Fernando to keep his faith in the project, despite his negative result in Monaco," he is quoted by the Spanish sports daily Marca.
"There are many new features coming as we continue to move forward. In Austria there will be an improvement that should take us to the next level," the Frenchman added.
The report said the upgrades will be mainly in the area of aerodynamics, before Honda is expected to deploy the majority of its 9 performance 'tokens' ahead of the Hungarian grand prix some weeks later.
Boullier would not confirm the engine news, saying improvements will be added by Honda "when they are ready".
Alonso, meanwhile, said he knows that he needs to be patient in 2015, as it is essentially "a test".
"Not a winter test, but a testing season," he added.
Boullier said both Alonso and teammate Jenson Button are fully up to speed with McLaren-Honda's plans.
"It would have been a mistake to tell them that this is going to be their year," he is quoted by Spain's El Confidencial.
"If you want to build a long-term project, the most important thing is trust and transparency."