Racing Director of the McLaren Honda Formula 1 Team Eric Boullier has said that the Woking team is not expecting a healthy set of points from this weekend’s Mexican Grand Prix.
Boullier spoke about the challenges that the high altitude, power dependant Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez poses, but assured fans that they will not take the task lying down.
“The conditions, too, make it tough for all the teams – it’s often hot and humid in Mexico City, and coupled with the altitude it makes cooling and outright engine performance even more of a challenge than normal.” Boullier said.
“We’ve learned a lot about these characteristics from the past two years we’ve raced there and I hope we can put this to good use next weekend.”
“We aren’t expecting to make a significant dent on the points table this weekend, but we never ever give up, and will give it our all to make the best we can out of this challenging double-header as possible.”
Boullier also revealed that Fernando Alonso is likely to face a grid penalty after an engine failure forced him into an early retirement from last weekend’s United States Grand Prix – a race that the Spaniard thought that points were a distinct possibility.
However, Boullier praised Alonso’s spirit, remaining confident in the 36-year-old’s ability to make his way through the field.
“It’s likely that Fernando will have to take penalties due to the PU issue he faced last weekend, so he is already preparing himself for what will undoubtedly be a spirited fight from the back of the grid.”
Speaking about Alonso’s team-mate Stoffel Vandoorne, Boullier was cautious in predicting the young Belgian’s weekend, given that Mexico City is another new track for the 25-year-old.
We don’t yet know how the weekend will pan out for Stoffel, but will try to give him the best chance we can at what will be a second new track for him in as many weeks.
Moving racing matters aside, Boullier expressed his sympathy towards the victims of last month’s devastating earthquake.
“On behalf of both myself and the whole team, I’d like to send our condolences to the hundreds of people that have been affected by the terrible earthquake in Mexico in September.
“Mexico City is a place we’ve quickly grown to love visiting, and we hope this coming weekend we can show our solidarity and support for the victims and shine a spotlight on the incredible resilience they’ve shown, as well as recognise the generous hospitality we receive from our Mexican friends every year we visit.”