McLaren Honda Formula 1 Team‘s Racing Director Eric Boullier says it was an extremely tough race for both drivers at the Mexican Grand Prix, but says they showcased the potential they have with their package.
Both McLaren drivers Fernando Alonso and Stoffel Vandoorne had grid penalties to take meaning they would start the race from the back, but showed promising pace in Practice and Qualifying that could help them push up in the race.
Alonso managed to secure a point at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez after an thrilling battle with Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula 1 Team‘s Lewis Hamilton for ninth place in the latter part of the race, however Vandoorne could only manage a twelfth place in the end.
Boullier says that it was a tough race for both drivers but given the limitation they had with their car, drove well in the race.
“Today was an extremely tough race for both our drivers, who drove incredibly well given the limitations of our car on a circuit that is well-known for its challenges, namely its power-sensitivity and its complex configuration, which make it almost impossible to overtake.” said Boullier.
“Both Fernando and Stoffel showed strong pace and made a number of excruciatingly close attempts to overtake, but with little reward for their efforts. We can certainly see the potential in our package – both drivers made incredible starts from eighteenth and nineteenth on the grid – and it’s frustrating to only have one point from tenth and twelfth to show for it.”
McLaren managed to maintain pace and manage to not sustain any mechanical failures throughout the race, despite the technical challenges not favouring their cars, and Boullier says with the Brazilian Grand Prix at the Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace coming up in two weeks time, this should suit their package more and they will aim to continue development aimed at their 2018 car.
“A positive we can take from Mexico is that both cars made it to the end of the race despite the technical challenges this circuit poses in its altitude and cooling issues,” said Boullier.
“We now look ahead to Brazil which should be a circuit much more sympathetic to our package, and we’ll keep pushing hard to improve our chassis as we continue our development into next year.”