Eric Boullier - Mercedes can be caught

McLaren racing director Eric Boullier

McLaren racing director Eric Boullier has insisted Mercedes-Benz can be caught this season despite their stunning start to the new year. Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg have dominated the opening three races of the new season, leading some Betfair punters to believe Mercedes-Benz will be untouchable this year ahead of the rest of the chasing pack.

After a decent if unspectacular start to the new season that sees them third in the constructor’s championship after three races despite both cars retiring in Bahrain, McLaren are one of those in a closely-packed bunch of teams looking at establishing themselves as Mercedes-Benz main challengers, in a group also including Force India, Red Bull, Ferrari and Williams.

McLaren bounced back from a dismal 2012 with a second and third place finish in the season-opening grand prix in Melbourne and surprise a number of Betfair fans, but a double retirement in Bahrain has dented the team’s confidence heading into the Chinese grand prix. Perhaps most disappointing for McLaren in Bahrain was Jenson Button being forced to pull up with 11 laps to go and lose out on a real chance of a podium finish with a gearbox failure in his 250th race.

Following the race in Bahrain, Button insisted he is confident McLaren have the second fastest car on the grid this season, and Boullier agrees the team still have a chance of keeping in touch with Mercedes-Benz.

“It's true the gap is huge now but a one-second gap is catchable. I know a lot of areas where we can work and improve,” said the McLaren racing director.

"But this is very tight for everybody. We are aggressively developing now to make sure we can catch up with them. I don't know if we will be catching them by European races but definitely we try to close the gap as soon as possible."

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