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Singapore GP: Race team notes - McLaren

NEWS STORY
16/09/2018

A strong Singapore Grand Prix for the team as Fernando brought home six points in seventh position. Stoffel, starting from 18th, drove a solid race despite it being relatively incident-free up front, to finish in 12th.

Both drivers made strong starts - Fernando was up to ninth after the first lap - and both managed to avoid getting caught up in the first-lap collision. Although Stoffel initially lost a position and dropped down to 19th after the early Safety Car, both he and Fernando were able to push hard during their long first stints, gradually picking off their competitors and moving up the field as the cars ahead pitted one-by-one.

The team's strategy was executed successfully, and gave both drivers a fighting chance to maximise the pace in their cars with only one stop apiece. Both drivers battled the heat and humidity well during this notoriously long, tough race, and secured a positive and well-deserved result for the team.

Fernando Alonso: "I'm really happy with seventh position. Normally something happens in front of us, but today all six cars ahead finished the race, so P7, behind the top six cars, is a small win for us.

"We executed the race to perfection with a good strategy, we maximised the tyre advantage starting on the purple [Ultrasoft] tyre and then switching to the yellows [Softs], and scored good points for the team, in the end.

"At some point in the race we were also the fastest car on track, and on such a demanding circuit this makes me even happier.

"It was no boring race for me, as we still needed to open some gaps in case of a Safety Car, and we didn't know when people behind us would stop. So, even though we were alone, it was about controlling the gaps.

"We knew coming here that the characteristics of this track would suit our package. I think it's going to be up and down for the remainder of the season, as at some races we're expecting to be competitive and at some others not so much.

"The target will be scoring points on Sundays and helping the team in the Constructors' Championship."

Stoffel Vandoorne: "I think it was a decent race today considering not a lot of action happened during the race and there were no Safety Cars after the start. There was just that one incident on the first lap, but we couldn't really benefit from that.

"We were quick and actually had good pace when it mattered in that first stint, especially when the pit window opened. We decided to go long on the first stint, and that's how we recovered a few places.

"The tyres didn't feel so great by the time we pitted, but we more or less had the pace to maintain that same rhythm. The others were getting blue flags so they were losing a lot of time, and that's what mattered.

"It's always been known that we're better on a Sunday than a Saturday, but on street circuits like Singapore it's all about qualifying. It's a shame not to score any points."

Gil de Ferran, Sporting Director: "I think we can be very happy about the result today. Overall it has been a very positive weekend.

"The car showed great pace in the race and our strategy team executed the job perfectly for both Fernando and Stoffel.

"Stoffel also drove a good, clean race, and showed strong pace when he had some free air ahead, which was crucial to gaining six positions in a race without many incidents to take advantage of.

"Quite honestly, Fernando's pace was quite incredible during the race to bring the car home in P7. At one point, we had the fastest lap of the race, which is a great reward for all the hard work that has been going on behind the scenes not only by everybody here trackside, but also back at the factory."

Check out our Sunday gallery from Singapore, here.

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