Despite a ‘DNF’ from Jenson Button at last weekend’s Hungarian Grand Prix, McLaren-Honda racing director Eric Boullier has reasons to be encouraged by the pace shown by the cars.
With a qualification of seventh and eighth in Hungary, and a finish of seventh for Alonso in the race, arguably, Boullier has reason to be impressed with the performance last weekend.
“After a long and gruelling first half of the season, culminating in six races in seven weeks, the whole team is preparing for the final push at the German Grand Prix before a well-deserved summer break,” commented Boullier.
“Despite the drama and poor luck Jenson suffered on Sunday at the Hungaroring, our pace as demonstrated by Fernando was encouraging. Although not as a high a finishing position as last year, we showed form and consistency throughout the weekend, and in a race of very low attrition except Jenson’s unfortunate retirement, we were able to maintain our position on merit and keep our nearest midfield rivals firmly behind us.”
Similarly to both Button and Alonso, Boullier appreciates that it will be difficult for the McLaren Honda’s to recreate the performance that they enjoyed last weekend, as in contrast to the Hungaroring, the Hockenheimring doesn’t suit the car.
“Now, we head to Hockenheim, which certainly offers a very different challenge to test our package. We are under no illusions that we’ll enjoy the same levels of pace that Fernando could exploit in Hungary, but nevertheless we’ll strive to set-up our package to enable our strengths to shine and outweigh the more difficult elements.
“With the support of the 50,000 plus fans in the stadium section alone, and our usual grit and hard work, we’ll do everything we can to finish the twelfth race of this 21-race season on a positive note.
“I’d also like to thank all our team members in Woking, Milton Keynes and Sakura for their admirable stamina, unwavering determination and unflappable perseverance throughout the first half the season. We’ll be giving it our all over the weekend to maximise our chances and give both cars the best opportunity to push for points.
“Both our drivers have a lot of experience fighting on this circuit, too – and have both enjoyed victory there – so they’ll certainly be taking the battle to the track this weekend in the hope of sharing some of the spoils on offer at this most historic of venues.”