Fuel-saving cost Mclaren chunks of time
Mclaren could have matched the pace of Williams in the Russian Grand Prix if it did not have to fuel save during the race.
The team’s racing director Eric Boullier believes fuel saving cost the team 50 seconds in Sochi. Fernando Alonso finished an impressive sixth, but was almost 53s behind fourth-placed Williams driver Valtteri Bottas.
Boullier said that the Mclaren’s Honda engine is less fuel efficient than its rivals’, which accounts for the gap between it and Williams.
“We can see that we are the team that have a lot of fuel saving for obvious reasons,” said Boullier. “But with Fernando you could see towards the end of the race he was more than 1.2s faster [per lap].
“So without fuel saving we’d save another 50s which we would’ve had at the end of the race.
“If you look, we are with Williams [without fuel-saving] so it’s the kind of progress we need to go [further]. The pace was good and the drivers were happy with the car balance.”
Jenson Button finished 10th, meaning both Mclarens finished in the points for only the second time since the team switched to Honda power at the start of last year.
Mclaren was strong in Russia