McLaren To Configure MP4-31 On-The-Fly In Melbourne

With the start of the new Formula One season less than a week away, McLaren-Honda are certainly curious to see how they compare with their rivals on the track.

Preseason testing can only reveal so much, most of the time. It’s about calibrating and reliability and aerodynamics, but rarely about unleashing all your engine power and going around the track as fast as it is mechanically possible.

With such a disappointing season last year, McLaren is looking forward to having their new and improved MP4-31 race car on the track in Australia, where they’ll finish what they’ve started in Barcelona a few weeks back.

“We are certainly a step ahead of where we were this time last year in terms of preparation,” said the team’s racing director Eric Boullier. “We have much more mileage under our belts and we’ve performed most of the necessary system checks that we were still working on during race weekends in 2015.”

While that does sound very positive, the fact remains that McLaren is still a little behind in terms of preparation, and that’s not something fans are going to be extremely pleased about, especially after such a frustrating first year to the team’s rekindled partnership with Honda.

“We didn’t manage to complete our final configuration and set-up work for the first race, so we go to Melbourne with a number of unknowns. It won’t be an easy start to the weekend in that sense, since we’ll need to concentrate on setting the car up for each session and readying the final specification of our package as soon as we get to Albert Park. Since the final pre-season test, there’s been a huge effort back in Woking to bring new parts to Australia and it’ll be good to finally get to the track on Friday and see how we fare,” added Boullier.

From what we’ve learned so far, the car should certainly prove faster and more reliable than the old MP4-30, though how it will stack up compared to the likes of Toro Rosso or Force India (middle of the pack teams), remains to be seen.

During Friday’s practice session, the teams will show a lot more pace than they did during preseason, and we’ll learn more and more about where McLaren stand as we inch closer to the start of the race on Sunday.

PHOTO GALLERY

Fernando Alonso Calls Time On His Formula One Career

After 17 years on the grid, Alonso leaves with two world championships and 32 race wins to his name
.

Float Like A Butterfly In Muhammad Ali’s 1976 Alfa Romeo Spider

This classic 1976 Alfa Romeo Spider belonged to the late, great Muhammad Ali, and now it can be yours.

Infiniti Drops New Teaser Of Electrified Performance Concept

Infiniti’s new, race car-like electric concept is just a week away from being revealed.

Watching The Evolution Of The Mazda RX-7 Makes Us Yearn For A New One

The Mazda RX-7 evolved considerably over its quarter-century of production, so imagine what a new one would be like.

Bring $800k, Drive Away In Jon Olsson’s Convertible Mercedes G500 4×4²

The premium of this extremely customized Mercedes-Benz G500 is a little excessive.

Lincoln Wants More Standalone Showrooms To Capitalize On New, Exciting Products

Lincoln is getting its dealerships ready for the Nautilus and Aviator.

Who Needs An 800HP Merc Estate? Nobody – And That’s Why We Like It

G-Power has come to the rescue to those who feel a standard E63 S isn’t enough.

Seat’s Cupra Brand Betting Big On Crossovers With First Dedicated Model

After years of sprucing up Seats, the newly emancipated Cupra brand is working on its first dedicated performance model.

Flood Pushes Cars Off Dealership Lot And Straight Into A Bridge

A number of vehicles were damaged including a Jeep Compass and Ram 1500.

2019 Nissan Sentra Gains New Tech And An SV Special Edition

The 2019 Nissan Sentra costs $1,100 more than its predecessor.