McLaren issues 'have been addressed' ahead of F1 season opener

Reliability problems plagued McLaren's testing in Barcelona but Eric Boullier says those have been resolved ahead of the new season.

McLaren's Fernando Alonso   -  Getty Images

McLaren's racing director Eric Boullier says the team have resolved the issues that blighted their pre-season testing as Formula One gears up for the 2018 campaign.

Having switched from Honda to Renault power units for the new year, McLaren were hoping for a relatively trouble-free build-up to the first race in Australia this weekend.

That proved not to be the case, however, as their MCL33 challenger broke down five times during testing in Barcelona.

McLaren completed the fewest laps of any constructor but there were some signs of improvement towards the end of those sessions as Fernando Alonso offered a glimpse of what a fully functioning car might achieve.

"We didn't have the reliability we had hoped for in winter testing, but all the issues we faced have since been addressed back at the factory," Boullier said.

"There's a huge amount of work going on behind the scenes to ensure we leave no stone unturned in our quest to extract the maximum pace we can from our new package from the first race.

"Melbourne is a venue that the whole team loves going back to, to kick off the new season. It's a vibrant city, the fans are incredibly enthusiastic and there's that palpable 'back-to-school' feeling of anticipation, where nobody really knows the form book until the lights go out on Sunday.

"We're not expecting miracles to be worked overnight - far from it - but what we do know is that we'll give it our all this weekend."

And two-time world champion Alonso is feeling positive as he looks to put a torrid 2017 season - in which he collected just 17 points - behind him.

"Our car showed a lot of potential in winter testing and, although we know we still have a lot to work on, we've already learned a lot about the package and how all the new elements to this year's car work together," he said.

"Australia is its first real test, and we need to work hard all weekend to bring all the ingredients together.

"Nobody can ever predict how other teams will perform at the first race of the season and that all contributes to the excitement.

"Melbourne is a great track and, after what feels like a long winter, I'm really looking forward to seeing what we can do."

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