Belgian GP: Race notes - McLaren


As predicted, the flat-out sweeps of Spa-Francorchamps proved difficult for the McLaren-Honda package, and we finished 13th (Fernando Alonso) and 14th (Jenson Button).

Both drivers made quick getaways, jumped a handful of cars, then ran to the flag using a three-stop strategy. An ERS deployment issue affected Jenson's progress, meaning he lost touch with his team-mate. Fernando was able to make a little more initial headway, but an overall lack of pace meant he was also unable to outpace the cars around him.

Fernando Alonso: "That was a tough race and a painful weekend: we simply weren't competitive today.

"My only fun came at the start - to start 20th and be 14th at the end of the first lap was a good feeling. After that, our overall pace wasn't good enough, but at least we got both cars to the finish, so hopefully we can learn a bit for the next race.

"That's just the way things are at the moment. Monza will also be difficult, but I'm sure we'll have some better races after that."

Jenson Button: "From the early laps, I had a problem with the deployment from the ERS pack. I'd get deployment from it in different places now and again, but it was never really deploying and recovering as it should. It would cut immediately after Raidillon, for example, and then I'd have to rely on the ICE alone.

"That's a lot of power to lose, and it meant I was driving the Kemmel Straight and the straight up to Blanchimont without any deployment at all. You can't really do much in that situation."

Eric Boullier, Racing director: "Of all the circuits on the current Formula 1 calendar, to this one is our car indubitably least suited.

"That being the case, it would be disingenuous indeed if we were to move to look askance at our finishing positions here today.

"Granted, to finish 13th and 14th on a circuit that has hosted 14 McLaren grand prix wins is unpropitious in the extreme, but splenetic we are not. Moreover, working shoulder to shoulder with Honda, we'll work as assiduously as is humanly possible in an effort to make the progress necessary to toil our way back to the front."

Yasuhisa Arai, Honda R&D senior managing officer - chief officer of motorsport: "Obviously, it was a difficult race, even with the updates we brought to Spa.

"First of all, I must thank Fernando and Jenson for their professionalism throughout the weekend. It's most disappointing to us that we couldn't meet their expectations, or those of the team and the fans, who had been waiting for the updates to produce results.

"We came to Spa knowing the difficulties of managing the ins and outs of the energy. We will look over the data from the weekend - including our gap to the other teams - and prepare for Monza."

Check out our Sunday gallery, here.

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Published: 23/08/2015
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