Formula 1

McLaren’s Gil de Ferran: “A disappointing German Grand Prix for us”

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Stoffel Vandoorne - McLaren F1 Team - Hockenheimring
Credit: Andy Hone/McLaren

Gil de Ferran felt both Fernando Alonso and Stoffel Vandoorne had the potential to score points during the German Grand Prix on Sunday but circumstances worked against the duo, who were left without anything to show for their performance.

Alonso had gambled on a switch to Intermediate tyres when the first rain fell at the Hockenheimring, only for it to ease off and the track dry out, with a further pit stop to return to slicks ending his chance of a top ten finish completely, although a gearbox issue ended his race with a couple of laps remaining in any case.

Vandoorne, who had endured a horrible weekend and finished last in both dry practice sessions and in Qualifying, was also left compromised by an engine issue that saw him drive slowly back to the pits for a reset, with the Belgian returning to the race to finish thirteenth.

De Ferran, the recently-appointed Sporting Director, said the race in Germany was an opportunity lost to score points, with McLaren dropping further behind the three teams ahead of them in the Constructors’ Championship, with the Renault Sport Formula One Team, Haas F1 Team and Sahara Force India F1 Team all scoring a good haul of points.

“A disappointing German Grand Prix for us,” said de Ferran.  “On Fernando’s side we took a gamble, banking on there being some heavy rain, but unfortunately we were a little too early and the gamble didn’t pay off.

“It’s a real shame for Fernando who was actually driving a really good race at that time, fighting as he usually does.   At the end of the race, there were some concerns over his gearbox and we had to retire his car. 

“On Stoffel’s side, we had a much calmer afternoon and he drove a solid race. He had an issue half way though that we are still investigating and which lost him a lot of time, but it was a solid finish in the end.

“It’s unfortunate to miss an opportunity to score some good points, as the car and the drivers had enough pace to do so today. So, onwards and upwards.”

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