BETTER PERFORMANCE: Jenson Button hopes the new chassis will get his McLaren-Honda moving. Image: AP / Miguel Morenatti.
LONDON, England - A silver lining for struggling McLaren-Honda could lie in the cornering ability of its new MP4-30 cars.
After Jenson Button and Kevin Magnussen qualified stone last for the season-opening race Melbourne some estimates put the team's power deficit to pacesetter Mercedes at as much as 112-150kW horse power.
But their silver lining could be the chassis.
Team boss Eric Boullier was quoted by Spain's Marca as saying: "The drivers say it is a good car that gives them confidence and has no vices."
It’s believed Honda de-tuned its engine, and particularly the power unit's ERS systems, by as much as 60% for the Melbourne race due to reliability fears.
Boullier confirmed : "We had to reduce performance in Australia but there is more potential on the way."
It was rumoured that Honda took a very aggressive approach to its V6 design, realising the gap that eventually needed to be closed to Mercedes. Button confirmed: "It's probably wrong for me to say... it's probably more like a Mercedes than it is the other two manufacturers in terms of design, aggressiveness and packaging.
"But it's going to take a little time."
Also on the bright side, it emerged on Tuesday (March 24 2015) that the 2015 McLaren chassis was almost certainly a good one. F1's website calculates “cornering ratings”' for each car after a race by averaging the horizontal G-forces in every curve.
Button's cornering rating was fourth overall in Australia, behind only the two Mercedes and Felipe Massa.
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