To leave the Monaco Grand Prix with no points was ‘bitterly disappointing’, says McLaren F1 Team Racing Director Eric Boullier.
Fernando Alonso was running in a strong seventh place before an engine failure on lap fifty-three brought an abrupt end to his race, whilst team-mate Stoffel Vandoorne struggled to make any progress from twelfth on the grid, leading to the team’s first double non-points finish since switching to Renault engines. This is also the second-consecutive race where a McLaren has retired due to mechanical issues, with Vandoorne retiring from the Spanish Grand Prix due to gearbox issues.
Speaking on McLaren’s performance in the race, Boullier said that what made the lack of points worse was that Alonso had driven a ‘faultless’ race until his early finish.
“It’s bitterly disappointing to be walking away from the most prestigious grand prix of the year with no points – but, sometimes, that’s motor racing,” said Boullier. “It’s made even more frustrating by the fact that Fernando had driven a faultless race and, through no fault of his own, was forced to park the car with a transmission problem on lap 53.
“Stoffel had limited opportunities to make progress from his twelfth position on the grid. But he kept his nose clean all afternoon, managed to recover a flat-spot, and pushed all the way to the flag.”
Despite a difficult race, Boullier believes there are positives the team can take out of the race, and that they will head to Canada with more confidence because of them.
“There are positives to take away from the weekend: our pace on Saturday was a clear improvement, and our upgrades continue to deliver on the track,” he said. “There’s a lot more work still to be done, but we head to Canada feeling confident that we’re headed in the right direction.”