Jenson Button, McLaren, Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, 2016

McLaren lament ‘day to forget’

2016 Canadian Grand Prix

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McLaren are ruing a difficult race in Canada after failing to get either of their cars in the points for the first time since the Chinese Grand Prix.

Jenson Button retired early from the race with an apparent engine failure, while a frustrated Fernando Alonso fought hard but could only manage 11th place at the finish.

“A tough race – we didn’t have the pace to be competitive today,” admits Alonso.

“I enquired about the possibility of fitting fresh tyres for the last few laps, but I guess it was a little too much of a risk: at that point we were 11th and stood to score a point or two at the end if something were to have happened ahead of us.”

Button suffered his second mechanical-related retirement of the season in Montreal and believes he was in a good position before his engine woes.

“I radioed in to say I had a terminal problem, and I looked in my rear-view mirror and saw a lot of smoke and sparks,” explains Button.

“I had no warning – the car just failed as I came out of the hairpin. The engine was still running, but I turned it off anyway. It’s a shame, since I was saving a lot of fuel at the time, and I had DRS on every lap too, so I could save even more fuel. That could have made a massive difference later in the race.”

McLaren’s Racing Director Eric Boullier gave a short synopsis of the team’s race. “Bluntly, today was a day to forget,” Boullier says.

“We’ve turned our attention to the challenge of a brand-new circuit, in Baku, where we hope to put up a better show than we did here in Montreal today.”

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Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...

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Posted on Categories 2016 Canadian Grand Prix, 2016 F1 season

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  • 20 comments on “McLaren lament ‘day to forget’”

    1. It seems every race is one to forget. This team is, for me at least, becoming more disappointing with each race.

      1. But…but……but……but ron says they are the best team?? O.O

    2. If the car was only as fast as it is good looking.

    3. I think Mclaren are a team to forget

    4. Everytime I read something about this team all I can think is ‘and this is where Vandoorne his talent will go to waste’.

    5. The car is still poor at high fuel consumption tracks. Based on their qualifying performance there was more speed in the car. Perhaps they should have gone for a low-downforce setup to save some fuel in the race.

    6. I was incredulous when I heard the RT broadcast from Alonso asking if he could pull into the pits and retire from the race just because they weren’t doing very well in the race. He was told that he had to keep racing, but the damage was done: he came across as being unprofessional. I don’t know if that is a fair assessment or not, but that is just the way it seemed.
      I think part of the problem is the very small space Honda are expected to fit their 600+ hp engine into. As I understand it, the Mercedes engine needs a much larger space to fit into. That is the space Honda should have been given right at the very start. Even when they designed this year’s car they seemed to be completely oblivious to the fact the space they gave the engine might actually be contributing to their own poor performance. I have no idea what McLaren are going to do if they ditch Honda because no one else makes an F1 engine small enough to fit into their car. I guess they could enlarge the engine bay, but then Honda will believe they were cheated because they weren’t given the opportunity to build an engine for that space, and in fact they would say they should have been given that amount of space all along, and they are correct.
      I am just amazed at the path McLaren are going down, it seems to me the problems they have were avoidable. I guess they know what they are doing, but I can’t see anything but more engine problems on high speed circuits, more thrashed engine reliability failures, more low moral problems, and eventually a desire for another engine supplier, and then the FIA will have to rule on whether an engine manufacturer has to supply an engine to them when the space available is too small.

      1. Did you read the article? When Alonso asked to “stop” he meant to stop for fresh rubber so he can enjoy racing for the last few laps. In the end, he agreed with the team’s decision to stay out in case he can get into the points if one of the cars ahead had a problem.

        I agree that McLaren’s problems are avoidable. The problem seems to be that Ron fails to acknowledge it. To him, McLaren is the best team in the universe. Nothing they do can be wrong. You can see his stubbornness in how they’ve stuck to the failed “size zero” concept and how they’ve refused to accept a title sponsor at an asking price that is more representative to their current performance. I remember Ron saying that “McLaren is the Manchester United of F1”. Therefore, he has the right to charge sponsors the same fees at the top teams despite their poor results. Until Ron gets off his high horse and see that McLaren are no longer on top team can he make neccessary changes for them to climb back up.

      2. He wasn’t asking to retire the car, pal, he was asking for a strategy change.

      3. I don’t think so Tuaho and Machinery. He is just changing his story, making excuses for that message. Open your eyes he clearly wanted to retire, not ‘change strategy’ i.e. lose 5 places for literally no reason.

      4. I’m sorry but that’s completely untrue re: engine size/space @drycrust. Honda specified the form factor themselves and admitted last year that they had got it wrong. How could a chassis manufacturer dictate the engine form factor? If McLaren had that much knowledge and understanding of the new style PU’s they would/could have produced their own unit.

        Mclaren have seemingly got many things wrong in the past few years but dictating Honda’s PU form factor was not one of them.

    7. Vandoorne needs to get the hell out of McLaren as it has failed to produce a competitive car since 2013.

      1. And go where exactly? Mercedes have their own young star in the making, Red Bull are pretty much set (and even if Ricciardo leaves, they’ll go for Sainz) and Ferrari haven’t put a rookie in their car for God knows how long. As crap as McLaren are right now, they have two drivers reaching the end of their careers, if one or both decides they’ve had enough you can bet Ron is going to stick Vandoorne in that seat.

        1. I’m sure a Williams or a Force India would want him. Both look more likely to produce a competitive car than Mclaren.

    8. I don’t buy the strategy element to Alonso’s comment, it was very much a ” I want to stop, I’ve had enough” moment, even the Sky commentators picked up that it was the first hint of public frustration. Button looks a bit dejected as all the bad luck is with him at present, (he was all over back of Alonso and then his car gives up) Alonso is clearly frustrated despite the “improvements” that he claims have been made, all in all McLaren seem very disenchanted at present with Ron Dennis looking sillier by the day, I think the new regulations fro 2017 and beyond will define if they truly are a front running team that can recover or whether they are destined to be mid grid egostists for the foreseeable future. Also how much patience will Honda have , if they genuinely cannot work in the limited space being made available by McLaren and continue to be embarrassed by the constant failure then when will they quit the sport or even jump to another team who will give them a wider design brief ?

      1. Yes, I felt sorry for Button, he looked like he wished he wasn’t there.

    9. Alonso was on tyres that were 47 laps old at the time… Older than any other drivers. All he wanted was fresh rubber possibly to set a fast lap and have a little fun (not a change in strategy and not to retire). Also I see that no one else picked up on the long pit stop for Alonso (8 seconds stationery) which meant he dropped three places. But let’s not let facts get in the way of a good story. Alonso is committed. He wouldn’t be in F1 otherwise.

    10. MG421982 (@)
      13th June 2016, 18:50

      I think ALO is bluffing. He just wanted to retire from the race. If I’m not wrong, that’s against the rules too: to retire from a race a fully working car. Wonder who’s going to get rid of whom first: McLaren because it’ll start to become tired of his attitude, like demands of retiring from the races as long as he’s out of points OR Alonso quitting McLaren after 2017 if the team remains unperformant. I’ll go with the latter.

      1. He 1st wanted to leave Ferrari in 2011 I think it was according to Massa as the 2011 car was not competitive, wonder how badly he wants to leave McLaren now? Maybe a Renault return?

      2. @MG Thanks for your marvelous insight. I thought ALO wanted to get some fresh rubber as he was running on 50 lap old tires but you set me straight.
        Please continue to share your brilliant opinions here as they are so informative.
        BTW if he leaves after 2017, it won’t be quitting as he will have have fulfilled his contract.

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