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German GP: Race team notes - McLaren

NEWS STORY
22/07/2018

An action-packed German Grand Prix was a difficult one for McLaren, which yielded no points to be added to the scoreboard today.

Mid-way through the race Stoffel reported an issue with the car, which the team believed would require him to retire from the race. However, after some rapid setting changes he managed to get up and running again, albeit with a lot of time lost trying to fix the issue, pushing him further back down the order.

The key factor all day was the weather, which looked to change throughout the afternoon, although it was never quite clear when. When the rain finally came, the two drivers took opposite gambles - Fernando boxed immediately for Intermediate tyres, while Stoffel chose to stay out on dry tyres.

Although the rain worsened, conditions were manageable and ultimately Stoffel felt comfortable enough to stay on dry tyres for the duration. Fernando, however, was forced to make an extra pit-stop back to dry tyres once the rain subsided, which dropped him down to 15th.

The team then detected a possible issue with the gearbox on Fernando's car a few laps before the end, and he was forced to retire on lap 65 of 67, although he was classified in 16th.

Fernando Alonso: "It was a tricky race today. We bet on the rain and at the first drops we pitted for Intermediate tyres, expecting that it would rain hard in the following few minutes. But, it didn't, and we were out there on a dry track with wet tyres, so we killed them and then we had to stop again to get back onto dry tyres. At that point, our race was compromised.

"It was difficult conditions out there, but we weren't in the points so we had to try something. Disappointingly, the bet today was the wrong one.

"At the end of the race, the team told me to retire the car, as they probably saw something on the data."

Stoffel Vandoorne: "It was a very strange race. "We had a terrible first part, when we were almost last - as we've been most of this weekend, to be honest. Then we had an engine issue; we thought we had to retire the car but then we found some settings to make it work again, even though with a little lower power than normal, but at least it got ourselves back in the race.

"When the rain came down we took the right decision by not pitting for Intermediate tyres, which got ourselves up a few positions. Thirteenth was probably the best position we could've gained today.

"The most important thing now is changing things around on my car and arriving in Hungary with a normal car."

Gil de Ferran, Sporting Director: "A disappointing German Grand Prix for us. "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."

Check out our Sunday gallery from Hockenheim, here.

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