Wednesday 21 March at 07:35 :
Mar.21 (GMM) McLaren is not setting a precise goal for 2018.
Despite splitting with Honda after an abysmal three years, the British team had another troubled winter.
Team boss Eric Boullier insists those problems have been sorted for Australia, but he also admits that McLaren is not setting unrealistic expectations either.
"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.
"But we will make sure we are ready."
Many people compared McLaren's winter to that of Toro Rosso's, whose opposite move from Renault to Honda power was smooth.
"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."
McLaren driver Stoffel Vandoorne agrees.
"Right behind Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull, it's difficult to predict," he told Het Laatste Nieuws.
"The fact that we have a new engine is a big step forward. But how big a step is still difficult to estimate."