Gil de Ferran says the McLaren F1 Team learned some ‘important lessons’ last weekend at Spa-Francorchamps, with the Woking-based outfit having a nightmare weekend that saw both Fernando Alonso and Stoffel Vandoorne eliminated in Q1 and neither score points.
Alonso was unfortunate to be involved in the first corner crash at Spa when Nico Hülkenberg hit him from behind after misjudging his braking point, with the Spaniard’s car flying over Charles Leclerc’s Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team car as a result of the contact with the Renault Sport Formula One Team driver.
Vandoorne on the other hand managed to see the chequered flag but he was the last finisher in fifteenth, with the Belgian pretty much making last place his own across the whole weekend such was his struggles.
Heading to this weekend’s Italian Grand Prix at the Autodromo Nazionale Monza, de Ferran, the recently appointed Sporting Director of McLaren, says the focus of the team will be to get the best possible result out of the race, even if the MCL33 is not expected to be a strong chassis at the high-speed track.
“The whole team loves returning to Italy each year – the location is legendary, the fans are incredible and as racers at heart, we appreciate just how special this grand prix is on the calendar,” said de Ferran.
“As everyone saw, last weekend was a difficult one for us, where we learned some important lessons. Now we’re focusing all our efforts on preparing ourselves in the best way possible for the Italian Grand Prix.”
De Ferran is pleased to give Lando Norris another chance behind the wheel of the MCL33 in the opening session of the weekend and build on what he achieved last weekend, and after taking over Alonso’s car in Belgium, he will this weekend drive in Vandoorne’s car.
“Once again, we will be giving Lando further experience behind the wheel of the MCL33 on Friday in the first free practice session,” said de Ferran. “This is another opportunity to continue his development, this time in Stoffel’s car, and build on the positive work he completed for the team in Belgium.”