Formula 1

Boullier Admits It Was ‘A Day To Forget’ In Canada For McLaren

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Stoffel Vandoorne - McLaren F1 Team
Credit: McLaren F1 Team

McLaren F1 Team racing director Eric Boullier described the Canadian Grand Prix as ‘a day to forget’ after the team failed to score points for the second consecutive race.

Both Fernando Alonso and Stoffel Vandoorne struggled in qualifying lining up fourteenth and fifteenth for the race while the race saw the Spaniard retire and Vandoorne finish sixteenth.

Both drivers avoided the opening lap incident between Lance Stroll and Brendon Hartley but Vandoorne picked up a puncture and couldn’t salvage anything from the weekend after that.

“Today has been a day to forget and move on for McLaren,” said Boullier.  “While both drivers did extremely well to avoid the chaos on lap one, Stoffel reported a puncture after driving over the resultant debris, and his subsequent stop lost him a lot of time under the Safety Car.

“From there, he was in last position, and, despite driving well to manage his strategy and pace to his nearest competitors, the unforgiving nature of the Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve meant he was unable to make significant gains on the pack ahead.

“To compound his struggles, he spent the final stint of the race nursing an intermittent energy management issue, which we are currently investigating. All things considered, he drove a hard-fought race to bring the car home in sixteenth.”

Alonso was celebrating his 300th grand prix weekend at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve and despite a strong start, the weekend ended in disappointment and he was forced to retire on lap forty. 

“Fernando was left in a much better position than Stoffel after the first-lap chaos, and benefitted from the early Safety Car period to jump three places forward into eleventh on a one-stop strategy,” said Boullier.

“While we thought a points-paying result was becoming a distinct possibility, he suffered cruel luck once again and was forced to retire the car after losing boost pressure thanks to a broken charge air cooler pipe.

“Although very frustrating, it’s an unusual problem, and one that we don’t expect to affect us going forward.”

This was the second race in a row that McLaren have failed to pick up points and now sit sixteen points behind Renault Sport Formula One Team in the battle for fourth in the constructors championship and Boullier knows the team have to pick themselves up again. 

“From here, the important thing is to pick ourselves up and turn our attention to our return to Europe and three back-to-back races in as many weeks,” he said.  “With a renewed focus, hard work and better luck, we hope an upturn in fortunes will come our way.”

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A journalism student from Scotland. Covering Formula 1 for The Checkered Flag.
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