Formula 1

McLaren’s Eric Boullier: “These sorts of silly incidents aren’t really acceptable at this level“

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Eric Boullier - McLaren Honda Formula 1 Team - Austrian GP 2017. Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd

McLaren Honda Racing Director Eric Boullier was frustrated to see driver Fernando Alonso taken out of the race on the first lap of this weekend’s Austrian Grand Prix, in what he deems an unacceptable incident.

The potential appeared to be there this weekend for the McLaren Honda Formula 1 Team to score points with both drivers, but alas that was not to be, after Alonso was hit from behind at the start, and team-mate Stoffel Vandoorne was unable to get by those ahead of him, despite showing strong pace.

That is racing according to Boullier, and there were pluses to take away from their performance, but it does not make the outcome any less disappointing at the end of the day.

“There are always highs and lows in motor racing.

“Let’s start by looking at the positives: Stoffel showed very solid pace all weekend, and he and his team looked to have made demonstrable progress in every session. His race was solid, although he couldn’t really show the car’s true potential after spending the entire race running in dirty air.

“We’ll take his drive-through penalty on the chin – he was pushing at the time to try to have a go at [Jolyon] Palmer, and it was just an unfortunate consequence of that.”

With everything that is going on right now at McLaren Honda, the last thing they need is to have their race ruined by others being careless off the start line.

That is what happened on Sunday however, and the Frenchman feels it is out of order for such basic errors to occur in the top echelon of motorsport.

“In terms of the negatives, Fernando’s race was one to forget – albeit through no fault of his own.

“We accept that racing is racing, but these sorts of silly incidents aren’t really acceptable at this level. To be walking away with a substantially damaged car after just one lap is a bitter pill for us to swallow.”

Despite the heartache, Boullier feels the Woking based squad showed good pace this weekend, which leaves him feeling confident ahead of their home race at the British Grand Prix, where he hopes the team can put on a good show for their loyal fans.

“Let’s finally look to the positives again: we’re set for an incredible week in the UK as we head to Silverstone for the British Grand Prix in front of our home crowd. As always, we’ll be doing our very best not to disappoint them.”

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