Formula 1

McLaren’s Eric Boullier: “You cannot hide behind a result like this”

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Eric Boullier was disappointed with the performance and reliability of the MCL32 in Russia - Credit: Charles Coates/McLaren

Eric Boullier insists the McLaren Honda Formula 1 Team are working hard to ensure that their reliability and performance issues are addressed sooner rather than later after another day of disappointments in the Russian Grand Prix on Sunday.

The Racing Director of the Woking-based squad saw Stoffel Vandoorne complete the race a lapped fourteenth at the Sochi Autodrom, while Fernando Alonso did not even make the start after more mechanical gremlins on his MCL32.

“You cannot hide behind a result like this: finishing 14th is not why McLaren-Honda goes racing, and, believe me, we are working hard to make sure this level of performance doesn’t last for long,” insisted Boullier.

“That said, it’s still extremely disappointing to run into reliability and performance issues during a race weekend – we must work together to pull ourselves out of this position.”

Despite the short fallings from the team, Boullier was impressed with the way Vandoorne raced in Russia, and despite his lowly finish the mileage achieved was important in order, with the Belgian finishing a Grand Prix for only the second time this season.

“Given the performance limitations he had today, Stoffel drove a very measured and efficient race, doing everything that was asked of him to look after his tyres and fuel,” said Boullier.

“As I say, 14th is not a notable result, but it’s exactly what we could expect from his car this afternoon. It’s pleasing that he was able to make the finish and gain some useful mileage.”

Boullier was in agreement however with Alonso, with the Spaniard grinding to a halt on the parade lap in Sochi, feeling that it is unacceptable for the team to retire a car before the start in two consecutive Grand Prix having seen Vandoorne do the same in Bahrain two weeks previously.

“As for Fernando, I share his frustration – it’s not acceptable to start the second consecutive grand prix with only one car, and we need to address this shortcoming immediately,” said Boullier.

“He is naturally disappointed, but things will get better.”

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