McLaren’s Eric Boullier: “There isn’t much to shout about”

Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button - Credit: McLaren Media Centre

Eric Boullier admitted that seeing Jenson Button and Fernando Alonso finish twelfth and thirteenth in the Mexican Grand Prix was not what the McLaren-Honda F1 Team were hoping for on Sunday.

The Racing Director of the Woking-based team revealed that Alonso’s race at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez was hampered by a number of issues, starting with a first lap tangle with Carlos Sainz Jr and subsequently following the Scuderia Toro Rosso driver, while there were also issues with the Spaniard’s power unit and final pit stop.

“Clearly, when you qualify eleventh and thirteenth, as we did yesterday, there isn’t much to shout about when you manage to convert those starting positions to only twelfth and thirteenth, as we did today,” said Boullier.

“But this afternoon’s race was a tough one for us, for many reasons. First, the Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez is a decidedly difficult circuit on which to overtake, as a result of which our drivers were held up behind Carlos’s Toro Rosso for many laps; second, we were forced to down-tune Fernando’s power unit during the race, which obviously handicapped him to some extent; and, third, there was a delay during Fernando’s second pit-stop, which lost him a further two or three seconds. 

“These things happen – that’s racing – but it’s always frustrating for driver and team alike when they do.” 

Boullier now turns his attention to Brazilian Grand Prix in two weeks time, and although he knows a victory is out of reach, he is hoping for a much more competitive outing for the McLaren-Honda outfit.

“Anyway, from here we move on to São Paulo, Brazil, whose famously undulating Interlagos circuit will present a very different set of challenges,” said Boullier.

“Having won the Brazilian Grand Prix no fewer than twelve times in our history, which is more than any other team, we hope to fare better there than we did here, although a thirteenth Brazilian Grand Prix victory will of course be out of our reach. But we hope points will be possible.”