McLaren Honda Formula 1 Team Racing Director, Eric Boullier, felt that the Woking based squad did not perform to the best of their abilities at the first race of the 2017 Formula One season.
“The 2017 Australian Grand Prix won’t be remembered as one of McLaren-Honda’s finest hours,” commented the Frenchman. “However, I want to pay tribute to our drivers, both of whom performed superbly, albeit in very different ways.”
“Fernando’s car suffered a damaged left-front brake duct early on, but he nonetheless drove a prodigiously impressive race, wringing every last tenth-of-a-second from a compromised car on every lap, and at one stage a points finish looked to be a possibility for him.” However, the Spanish driver ended his race prematurely, on lap 50 due to bodywork damage, meaning that a points finish was not possible for him.
Boullier was also impressed by McLaren-Honda’s ‘rookie’ driver, Stoffel Vandoorne – as even though he finished last, he overcame issues with the car that could’ve ended his race.
“Stoffel had a dreadfully frustrating afternoon, losing his dashboard function early in the race – causing him to have to count his gearchanges both up and down in the absence of the usual on-dash digital readout – which problem we were able to address by bringing him in for an unscheduled system reboot.”
“Bearing in mind that he’s now driven the grand total of just two grands prix, I’d describe his performance as dogged and diligent: a very difficult job very well done.”