Despite seeing Jenson Button retire and Kevin Magnussen only finish tenth in Singapore, the Racing Director of McLaren Mercedes Eric Boullier insists the team can take some confidence away from that race as they head into the Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka.
“Although on paper our results from Singapore were very disappointing, the team has quickly refocused and we’ve taken many positives from the weekend which we aim to carry into Suzuka,” insisted Boullier. “More than anything, our performance proved our total determination to succeed and fight right until the last moment.
“Despite coming home with just one point, our lap times and race pace compared to the front-runners is certainly more promising than earlier in the year, so this is what we must focus on at Suzuka to keep up this momentum.”
Boullier believes the Suzuka circuit will give the engineers a challenge with regards to the cars’ set-up, and hopes the McLaren team can leave Japan with a result that better represents the team’s progress from the recent upgrades.
“Suzuka is an interesting challenge in terms of set-up – getting the car’s balance right will be the key to success,” said Boullier. “Our engineers are working hard to make sure we get the most out of our car this weekend, and our aim is to build on our improvements in Singapore and come away with a result that is more representative of our recent progress.
“For McLaren, Suzuka is a very special race. The Japanese people are so welcoming from the moment we step off the plane, and the whole team enjoys coming back to Japan each year. It’s a circuit that the fans and drivers love, and its traditional slot towards the end of the season means we usually see some incredibly tense on-track battles.”