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Boullier: McLaren ready - but not 'best prepared'

Stoffel Vandoorne (BEL) McLaren MCL33.
© XPB 

McLaren moves on to a new chapter of its history this weekend, but while ready to race, the team's level of preparation isn't the best admits racing director Eric Boullier.

The Woking-based outfit, which is now powered by Renault, suffered a series of setbacks in pre-season testing which deprived the team of crucial mileage.

Boullier labeled the issues as "niggling", insisting the problems had been addressed back at the factory before heading to Melbourne.

Still, McLaren will kick off its 2018 campaign with a package that has yet to be optimised.

"The objective is clearly to be competitive and regularly at the front," he told RMC.

"First we will have to see our new package. The relationship is new, so we need to discover the car, the engine, the operation. We'll see what happens in the first races," Boullier added.

"We will try to be ready in Australia because it's an opportunity to score points, but we may not be the best prepared because we had a lot of little worries."

In a singular twist of irony, McLaren actually completed less laps than Toro Rosso, the team which has taken on its former troubled Honda power unit and which performed flawlessly in Barcelona.

"There are those who did a better job, like Toro Rosso," Boullier admitted.

"The fact of having only eight days, and losing three because of the weather, didn't help," he added.

"But it's a little too early to say where we are. We did not do enough driving, we did not do a race simulation, so we need a little more data."

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