“We’ll get going, just wait and see”
Zeltweg, Sunday June 21
A difficult and disappointing weekend for everybody at McLaren-Honda.
Starting from 19th (Fernando) and 20th (Jenson), both drivers were out after eight laps.
Fernando retired on lap one after Kimi Raikkonen lost control of his Ferrari ahead of him, at the exit of Turn Two. The collision resulted in both cars crashing spectacularly, immediately prompting a Safety Car to clear the debris.
Jenson boxed under the Safety Car to fit Prime tyres, with the aim of running an effective ‘one-stopper’ to the finish. He then took a 10-second stop-go (a part of yesterday’s grid penalty), but was then ordered by his engineers to retire the car as a precaution after suffering an intake system sensor failure.
Fernando remains for next week’s test – he’ll run on Tuesday, with Stoffel Vandoorne running on Wednesday.
Finished DNF – intake system sensor failure
Fastest lap 1m52.208s on lap 5 (17th)
Pitstops Two: laps 3 (4.88s) and 8 (stop-go) [Opt-Pri]
“Nothing was broken on my car, but something was wrong – and the switch-changes didn’t make any difference. So the team took the decision to retire the car – we’d fitted a brand new engine this weekend, and we didn’t want to unnecessarily damage it, so we decided to stop.
“Silverstone will be another step forward. Hopefully, we’ll have got rid of our issues so I can have a stronger race in front of my home crowd. And, after that, Hungary is a circuit that should suit us, so we can get a good result there.
“In times like these, you’ve just got to stay positive. Everybody back at the factory listens to our post-race interviews, and both Fernando and I want to keep everyone motivated. We’re in a good place, because we know what this package can achieve, so hopefully everyone will continue to stay strong.”
Finished DNF – accident (lap 1)
Fastest lap -
“I got a good start, and made up a lot of places into Turn One and Turn Two. Kimi ahead of me had started on the Prime tyre, and he exited Turn Two with a lot of wheelspin – I went to overtake him and he lost the car to the left, and that’s exactly where I was – so we both went into the wall. Luckily, we’re both fine. It was a strange incident, because he lost the car in fifth gear, so it must have been very low grip.
“We just need teamwork to keep us going: our expectations are clearly higher than what we’re currently achieving, but we’re moving in the right direction. I’m optimistic because I know our fortunes will change very soon.”
Racing director, McLaren-Honda
“Murphy’s Law famously states ‘Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong’; as far as McLaren-Honda is concerned, this afternoon proved it 100 per cent correct.
“Having been relegated to the very back of the grid owing to a series of penalties, our drivers started today’s grand prix in 19th and 20th positions. Before the race was even a lap old, however, Fernando was out, following contact with Kimi’s Ferrari. It was a pretty big shunt, so the most important point is that no-one was badly hurt.
“A few laps later, Jenson’s race had come to an end also, as a result of an intake system sensor failure.
“These are difficult days for all at McLaren-Honda, in Woking as well as in Sakura, but we won’t let our heads drop. Okay, I admit it, the going is getting tough; but, guess what, when the going gets tough, the tough get going; well, we’re tough, and we’ll get going; just you wait and see.”
Honda R&D senior managing officer – chief officer of motorsport
"Austria has been a tough weekend. With such stringent penalties applied, it was always going to be a difficult race today.
“First and foremost, I am relieved that Fernando is okay. As for Jenson’s car, there was an intake system sensor failure, which limited the power, so we elected to retire the car.
“We know that reliability is still an issue, and it is our priority to improve at every race. We will ready ourselves for Silverstone, including power output updates.”