Formula 1

McLaren out on track (©GettyImages)
McLaren out on track (©GettyImages).

McLaren outlines improvement strategy

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McLaren Formula One team are aiming to return to the top of the sport with a new plan devised by racing director Eric Boullier.

After a promising start to the 2014 season McLaren have failed to build on their performance in Melbourne where they achieved a double podium finish, and the team has been looking at ways to improve.

But the plan of action does not involve a major overhaul Boullier told Autosport.

"McLaren is composed of brilliant individuals, they have been winning many races and have been fighting for championships.

"I think it is just to make sure that the same people are working together in one way with strong leadership, strong guidance and at least it will help them to recover their past success.

"You need to do it smartly. There are great individuals, and these people have been working together in the past and have been winning races with very, very fast cars."

The eight-time Constructors' Champions have recruited two new faces in the aerodynamic department with Tony Salter arriving from Sauber along with Lotus' Guillaume Cattelani, as revealed by Autosport.

"It is about restoring some leadership today - both in technical and management terms." Said the 40-year-old Frenchman, who emphasised the focus on the efficiency of communication in the team. 

"Once we have this leadership in place with clear strategy, then we have to make sure the communication flow within the company is maybe a little simpler to make it faster and better in the end."

The former Lotus F1 Team Principal is not promising miracles overnight but does expect things to start to turn around in the not too distant future.

"It depends if you want to be very aggressive in the short term, or aggressive in the medium term which I would favour.

"We think we will see the benefit of this during the course of this season, but definitely next year. Already this year we should see some drastic change though, first within the company - which is a kind of culture shift."

McLaren are regarded as one of the iconic teams in Formula One but in their recent history have underachieved significantly. They have not won the Drivers' Championship since Lewis Hamilton's 2008 success and the Constructors' title has evaded them since 1998. 

There is great promise for 2015 with aero chief Peter Prodromou, formerly of Red Bull, set to join and with the Honda engine set to return it could be an exciting season. The Honda and McLaren partnership was of course the combination which exerted so much dominance on the sport back in the late 1980's and guided Ayrton Senna to the world championship. The 20th anniversary of the Brazilian legend's death was remembered last week. 

Senna may not be in the car now, but the current driver line-up, though not the strongest in the field, is still exceptionally talented and capable of providing race victories given the right equipment. Jenson Button is a Formula One world champion, whilst Danish driver Kevin Magnussen in his rookie season has shown glimpses of the top driver he will become. 

It was an incredibly unsuccessful weekend for the team last time out in China with neither driver able to finish with any points. It leaves McLaren fifth in the Constructors' World Championship with 43-points. 111 shy of runaway leaders Mercedes.

Ahead of the Spanish Grand Prix in Catalunya, both drivers will be aiming for improved performances and some points for their own individual efforts in the drivers' standings. Button is in eighth-place on 23-points and leads his young team-mate by three.

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