McLAREN - Hungarian GP Race
2014 HUNGARIAN GRAND PRIX
“We tried our best, but it didn’t work out”
Hungaroring, Sunday July 27
A typically unpredictable wet-to-dry grand prix that resulted in an edge-of-the-seat climax involving three drivers.
For McLaren, a misleading weather forecast prompted the team to remain on Intermediate tyres while the rest of the field pitted behind the Safety Car for Options. With the chance of rain diminishing, both drivers lost ground after pitting for dry-weather tyres – a decision that dictated our performance for the remainder of the grand prix.
A scheduled mid-race switch to the Prime tyre failed to bring pace to their races, and Jenson and Kevin established themselves in 10th and 12th respectively until the chequer.
Fastest lap 1m29.156s on lap 50 (+3.432s, 13th)
Pitstops Three: laps 8 (6.40s), 15 (3.42s) and 37 (2.78s) [Int-Int-Opt-Pri]
“I’m glad it was an exciting race for the fans, but it was a tough afternoon for us. We didn’t make the right decisions today.
“The opening laps in the rain were great: I got up into fifth – which wasn’t a bad position for us – but it went downhill from there. As the track started to dry, we thought it was going to rain again – unfortunately, however, we were the only ones thinking that.
“I feel like I did everything right, and in every track condition, which is why it’s tough – but we win as a team and we lose as a team, and we’ll quickly put this behind us and move on.
“It’s the perfect time for the summer break – obviously, we’re not where we want to be, but we’ve had some positive results, and the whole team has worked incredibly hard throughout this first half of the season. I hope that everybody can get the chance to recharge their batteries before we embark on what we hope will be a better half of the season.”
MP4-29-04* new chassis for Sunday
Started Gridded 21st (qualified 10th, but started from the pitlane due to yesterday’s Q3 accident)
Fastest lap 1m28.883s on lap 41 (+3.159s, 10th)
Pitstops Two: laps 15 (2.70s) and 39 (2.51s) [Int-Opt-Pri]
“We didn’t make the best of things today, but having started from the pitlane, I don’t think I really lost too much by choosing to stay on the Inters when everybody pitted for dries. I know we took a risk to wait for more rain, but I think we had to take that risk.
“I don’t think things would’ve been much different if we’d made a different strategy call, but we now need to sit down with the engineers and strategists to discuss it.
“Once we switched to the Prime, we didn’t have the pace to challenge for too many points. After a race like today’s, we just need to stay positive and look for areas where we can further improve. The whole team now has the opportunity to take a break, rest and return feeling stronger than ever. I want to thank everybody for their hard work, spirit and determination throughout these first 11 races – we can come back and achieve better things in the second half of the year.”
Racing director, McLaren Mercedes
“Formula 1 put on a great show for its fans today – but, unfortunately, it wasn’t a great afternoon for the team.
“We worked hard to make the most of the tricky conditions at the start of the race – but it didn’t go our way. That’s frustrating, but, equally, that’s racing – it happens sometimes. We made the wrong call, but, in such a topsy-turvy race weather-wise, sometimes there are some very narrow margins involved.
“If things had panned out differently, we may have had a good afternoon – but we don’t dwell on the maybes. We’ll learn from this experience, and we’ll move on. We tried our best today but it just didn’t work out for us – that’s a shame for both Jenson and Kevin, because they both drove very well in some difficult circumstances.
“This isn’t a great reward for the team after a lot of hard work, but we’ll regroup over the summer, learn from our mistakes, and work hard to improve our fortunes for the second half of the season. There are positives to take away from many of our performances this year, but areas where we can still work harder. I want to wish the whole team a restful and relaxing summer vacation, and we’ll come back ready to work even harder to return McLaren to the front.”
Tom has been a contributor to RIS since 1992. He was invited to join the staff as a full-time reporter/editor in 1995, and has covered IndyCar, Formula 1, NASCAR, Grand-Am, ALMS and the 24 Hours of Le Mans. In addition to his RIS work, Tom has been a contributor for General Motors, Nissan, Toyota and the ACO.