Honda McLaren F1 team & drivers quotes ahead of  F1 Chinese GP

Honda McLaren F1 team & drivers quotes ahead of F1 Chinese GP

12.04.2016: The drivers on: the event 14 Fernando Alonso

The drivers on: the event





14 Fernando Alonso


“It was disappointing to be told I couldn’t race in Bahrain, but I fully respected the decision of the FIA medical team.


While I hope I’ll be back in the cockpit on Friday, until I get the all-clear from the doctors to race – whenever that may be – we cannot assume anything, but I’m continuing to prepare for the race weekend as normal. 


“Stoffel did a great job in Bahrain, and although Jenson suffered reliability issues, it was positive to see that both cars ran quite strongly during the weekend.


It was also interesting for me to see the race weekend unfold from a different perspective, which helped me to understand everything that goes into getting the cars on track and learn a lot about the different processes, although I’d still prefer to be racing!


I’ve always enjoyed driving in China – I’ve won there twice before – and I hope we’ll be able to have some good battles on track and see more progress this weekend.”

 


#22 Jenson Button



“The Bahrain race weekend was bittersweet on my side of the garage. We definitely saw another step in the car’s performance from Australia as we keep learning more about the handling and characteristics of the car, and bring new upgrades to each grand prix.


Friday practice was a real positive, but unfortunately we couldn’t make it stick in qualifying and then suffered reliability issues in the race.


Saying that, until the point when we lost power, the car had felt very good, and I’m hopeful that we can continue that momentum in Shanghai and make the most of the package we have. 


“As always though, we need to work hard on our reliability. We’ve definitely seen an improvement in that area, but anything less than 100 per cent is never enough, and it’s important we take advantage of our progress to bring home the points we deserve and have something to show for all of our efforts.


The Chinese Grand Prix is a very different challenge from the past two races, and I’ve enjoyed racing there in the past.


My victory there in 2010 was very memorable and a great race – it just shows how the changeable conditions can really mix things up – so I hope we can enjoy some more good racing there this weekend, and most importantly, see the chequered flag.”



Hear from the management

 
Eric Boullier
McLaren-Honda Racing Director


“While we definitely saw a reassuring improvement in our performance in Bahrain, we cannot take anything for granted, and it’s imperative that we don’t waste opportunities to score valuable points due to lack of reliability, as we saw at the last race.


 At the very least, we must learn from every situation, and in the case of Jenson’s power unit issue, we’ve done so, so we go to China with continued optimism that we can try to maximise the potential of our package.


“Despite the decision from the FIA medical team that Fernando was not able to race, the team prepared admirably for the weekend, and Stoffel did a fantastic job to score his and the team’s first championship point of the year, in his debut grand prix.


Once again, Stoffel will be on standby until Fernando has his routine meeting with FIA doctors on Thursday, and until then we will be readying ourselves as normal.


Fernando has been recuperating at home and training as usual, and we, like him, hope to see him back in the car. We’ll accept the outcome – whatever that may be – and plan accordingly.


“Next weekend will also see the return of the 2015 qualifying format, which is certainly a positive step for the fans and will hopefully offer a more watchable, engaging qualifying process than the interim solution we saw at the last couple of races.


Operationally, the McLaren-Honda team will adapt in our usual way and make the most of the track time and resources available to us in each session.


Tyres and power units will be the big talking points this weekend on this challenging, but nonetheless varied and interesting Shanghai International Circuit, so set-up, management and reliability will be key to ensuring we achieve our potential in China.”

 


Yusuke Hasegawa
Honda R&D Co Ltd Head of F1 Project & Executive Chief Engineer


“As we saw from Stoffel's pace in Bahrain, we have surely come a long way since last year.


We still need a bit more overall package performance to tackle the long, one-kilometre straight in Shanghai, but it’s reassuring to know that we’re heading in the right direction.


“There was a mechanical issue on Jenson's ICE which we will replace for the upcoming race weekend. The situation has been thoroughly investigated, and will be rectified in all future engines to be used.”


Matt Bishop- photo Honda

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12.04.2016 / MaP

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