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Late switch to Renault puts McLaren behind schedule

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McLaren's 2018 design efforts are well under way but the Woking-based outfit is two weeks behind schedule as a result of its late switch to Renault power.

An initial deadline by which a decision regarding its future engine partner was required had been set for the Italian Grand Prix at Monza.

But McLaren's split with Honda has been a lengthy process, with many details requiring time for negotiation and finalisation.

While the team is running behind schedule, the current lag will not impact the design or fabrication process of its 2018 challenger insists McLaren racing director Eric Boullier.

"Obviously it's a challenge," said the Frenchman in Singapore.

"Now we have to be [working] 24/7 I would say to try recover a couple of weeks where an ideal decision could've been taken. But, two weeks is recoverable.

"It won't be any compromise next year. Of course, we don't have the same experience as some of the costumers, so we have to discover the package.

"But, I think we can trust our engineers to do a very good job and two weeks are recoverable, but this is going to be a huge load of work and I'm glad to see there's a lot of energy going inside McLaren to try and recover as fast as possible."

McLaren's factory is devoting substantial resources to 2018, but Boullier says the efforts won't deter from its current campaign.

"Being at the track is one thing, being at home is different," he told Motorsport.com.

"In Woking they have already turned to the future, obviously we have a lot of work, but when you’re here at the track you have to deal with the reality and the current ‘17 aspect.

"Now it’s head down, a new challenge, a big challenge. Everybody now is flat out, I would say there is not any more left behind. It’s one direction."

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