Eric Boullier reflected on a disappointing result in the Japanese Grand Prix for the two McLaren Honda Formula 1 Team drivers, with Fernando Alonso finishing eleventh and Stoffel Vandoorne fourteenth on Sunday.
Alonso recovered from starting at the back of the field after a thirty-five-place grid penalty for an engine change to fight for the final point, only to be denied at the death by the defence of Felipe Massa, while Vandoorne’s race was compromised early when he found himself hit by Kimi Raikkonen at turn two on the opening lap.
Whilst admitting the result at the Suzuka International Racing Course was far from ideal, McLaren racing director Boullier believes the three flyaway Asian races in Singapore, Malaysia and Japan have been positive, and the team can go into the final four races with confidence that they can fight for points.
“Today was just not our day, despite two strong and relentless drives from Fernando and Stoffel,” said Boullier. “After the difficulties of qualifying, Fernando drove with fearsome commitment today, but was unlucky to walk away without a point, despite a stirring chase of Felipe.
“Stoffel’s race was compromised at Turn Two, when he was pushed down the order after being hit by Kimi. But that’s what happens in racing, sometimes, and he too pushed hard for the remainder of the afternoon.
“Still, on the whole, this Asian triple-header has been a positive one for the whole team. We’ve scored some useful points, and I certainly think that we come out of it stronger as a team than when we went in. We’ll definitely put that momentum to good use in the final four races.”