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Italian GP: Race team notes - McLaren

NEWS STORY
02/09/2018

An Italian Grand Prix of mixed emotions for the team, as Fernando retired from the race after just nine laps. He'd made a strong start and was on course for a potential points-scoring result when he had to stop the car due to a suspected electrical issue.

Stoffel had a more positive Sunday afternoon, with stronger-than-expected pace on a track that was always expected to be a challenge. Given that his starting position was unlikely to result in a points-paying finish on this circuit, he put in a fighting performance to progress from 17th at the start up to 13th at the chequer. He made a solid start, successfully avoided any first-lap chaos, and a strong strategy executed by the team enabled him to push hard throughout the race and keep arguably faster cars behind him.

Fernando Alonso: "This weekend we performed much better than we expected and I think we had the possibility to take some points today, so it's a shame that we had to retire so early in the race.

"Also, we were planning to change the engine at Spa or here and get a penalty at a track we knew was going to be difficult for us in terms of performance, but surprisingly we were good, so we chose not to take it here. In the end, we didn't score any points here so it's double pain, as we'll have to take the penalty later in the season.

"The car was misfiring from the start of the race in Turns Seven and Eight, and unfortunately in the end it switched off and I arrived rolling into the pit-lane. It's a true shame. Let's see if we can make the car more robust for the coming races."

Stoffel Vandoorne: "It was a pretty decent race for us today, considering the performance we had on Friday. We made a good step on Saturday, went into the race and beat a few cars that we maybe didn't expect to beat. That was positive.

"Our race pace was pretty good. We were stuck behind a Sauber, the Toro Rosso of Pierre [Gasly] and the Renault of Nico [Hulkenberg] but with our strategy we managed to undercut them and make it work.

"Anyway, we knew that Spa and Monza would be two difficult races for us, even though the latter turned out to be maybe slightly better than expected. Next stop Singapore - hopefully we'll have more performance there."

Gil de Ferran, Sporting Director: "We leave this amazing place with mixed feelings. On one hand, we are bitterly disappointed with Fernando's retirement, which was an electrical issue, when he was in a solid position to score some points.

"On the other hand, Stoffel put in a strong performance, pushing hard all the way. We executed a clean pit-stop and made good decisions on strategy.

"Now we say goodbye to Europe and look ahead to the last chapter of the championship, where we'll continue to keep fighting and trying to improve our position in the standings."

Check out our Sunday gallery from Monza, here.

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