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McLaren adamant Mercedes can still be caught

09 Apr 2014

McLaren racing director Eric Boullier maintains that Mercedes are catchable, despite the Brackley-based team’s dominant start to the 2014 season.

The Silver Arrows have taken three pole positions and three wins in the three races so far this year, but though they enjoyed a substantial pace advantage over the rest of the field in Bahrain, Boullier says it's not too late for McLaren to bridge such a deficit.

Asked during a McLaren-Mercedes teleconference if it was realistic to think that the gap could be closed to Mercedes, Boullier said: “To be honest, I think it is. It’s true that the gap is huge now, but a one-second gap is catchable. I know a lot of areas we can work on and improve, so I think they can definitely be caught.

“We are aggressively developing now to make sure we can catch up with them (Mercedes)," he added. "We don’t know if we will have caught them by the European races, but we’ll definitely try to close the gap as much as possible.”

McLaren suffered a double retirement in Bahrain with both Jenson Button and Kevin Magnussen both suffering clutch problems - a situation Boullier described as “a one-off”. The Frenchman also supported Jenson Button’s post-race assertion that after Mercedes, McLaren are the next fastest team.

“I believe that if you look at the performance graph from Jenson (in Bahrain), we had the potential to finish in front of the Force Indias,” Boullier said. “I agree with Jenson that we could be the second-fastest team - the best of the rest - but it is very, very tight with everybody.”