The McLaren Honda Formula 1 Team secured their first two-car points finish in the recent Hungarian Grand Prix, and Chief Operating Officer Jonathan Neale felt it was just the kind of boost the team needed before the summer break.
Fernando Alonso finished sixth and took the fastest lap at the Hungaroring, while Stoffel Vandoorne scored his first point of the season in tenth, and Neale reckons that it was a good end to an extremely tough first half of 2017 that has been blighted by poor reliability and competitiveness.
“I’m really pleased for the drivers, the mechanics and everybody back at Woking,” said Neale to Motorsport.com. “It feels like scoring a goal before halftime.
“To pick up some points and move ourselves forward is always nice and validate the package. We had a reasonable upgrade programme here, all of which has worked and we got ourselves a bit of reliability in the short term, which is nice as well.
“But it has been a tough first half of the season and I think everybody will be looking forward to a break.”
Despite the points only moving them up from tenth in the championship standings to ninth ahead of the Sauber F1 Team, it still feels like progress, and it gives them some optimism going forward that results will continue to improve.
“We go from last to ninth,” said Neale. “It’s all progress. It’s the thrill of the chase as much as it is the outright winning. It will make victory taste sweeter.
“We’re a race team which loves to be at the front and at the moment, we can’t always be at the front. There are a lot of reasons to be optimistic about us going forwards.
“There is plenty of energy in the team and there are some frustrations of course but that’s not getting in the way of us moving forward.”