Ian James, Team Principal of the NEOM McLaren Formula E Team, has admitted that the Woking-based side have a “huge amount of work to do” ahead of the final four races of the season, following a very disappointing Portland E-Prix.
McLaren started last weekend on the West Coast with some real pace, as René Rast topped Free Practice 1 at the Portland International Raceway. The German went on to have an excellent qualifying, where he claimed fourth on the grid. Jake Hughes also went well in qualifying and secured sixth, giving McLaren hope of a good points haul.
Once again though that failed to happen, as both Rast and Hughes seriously struggled with their race pace. Neither driver ended up scoring any points, as Rast finished in fourteenth whilst Hughes dropped all the way to eighteenth. Race pace and energy management have been two huge problems for the Nissan customer team this season, whilst they’ve often boasted exceptional one-lap performance.
This was seemingly the case again in Portland, with the team boss being aware that work needs to be done. James labelled the result as a “huge disappointment”, whilst he also wasn’t impressed by the style of racing which was on show.
“It has been great to be able to race in the US again. After showing some really strong pace in both Free Practice sessions, and then that resulting in strong Qualifying performances from both René and Jake, the race itself was a huge disappointment.
“On one side, and from a personal perspective, I don’t feel that the style of racing that we’ve seen today necessarily shows Formula E in its best light. And that is a shame, because we have seen some phenomenal racing so far in the Gen3 era. That’s something we should reflect on and decide how to address in future.
“However, these races are something we know to expect from time to time, and as a team we need to do a better job at managing them in order to get the results we are capable of. This weekend has shown that, even though there are positive signs on single lap pace, we still have a huge amount of work to do. As ever, we’re not afraid to take on that challenge and put in the effort – and I look forward to some stronger and more representative results in Rome and London next month.”