Eric Boullier admitted it was frustrating for both Stoffel Vandoorne and Fernando Alonso to drive as hard as they could during the French Grand Prix for zero reward, with twelfth for the Belgian the best outcome at the Circuit Paul Ricard.
The racing director of the McLaren F1 Team was disappointed that the Woking-based team failed to score points for a third consecutive race weekend, with Vandoorne seeing the chequered flag in twelfth while Alonso was classified sixteenth after a late suspension issue on his MCL33.
Boullier was left seeking positives after the race, and he says it is important for the team to turn their ailing season around, both in Qualifying and race trim.
“It’s difficult to look for positives after such a disappointing weekend, but it’s encouraging that our pace was better in today’s race than in qualifying yesterday,” said Boullier. “We need to look at how we can translate that to Saturday afternoons, as that will give us more of a fighting chance to compete on a Sunday.
“Still, both Stoffel and Fernando drove their hearts out today, they were faultless and relentless, always delivering to the maximum potential of the car. It’s just frustrating when that effort goes unrewarded with points, but we know we still need to develop the car to make it a more consistent proposition on Sundays.”
Boullier, who played a minor part in bringing Formula 1 back to France after a ten-year absence, was happy to see such a large crowd watch the race at Paul Ricard, and he hopes the venue can build on its success in 2019.
“Finally, I want to pay tribute to the fantastic crowd we witnessed here today,” said Boullier. “It’s great to see the French Grand Prix back on the F1 calendar, and I felt extremely proud when I saw so many enthusiastic spectators enjoying the spectacle throughout the weekend.
“Let’s hope the 2019 event builds on this year’s successes.”