Fuel saving cost McLaren-Honda 50 seconds in Russian Grand Prix

Fuel saving cost the McLaren Formula 1 team 50 seconds in the Russian Grand Prix and without it, the team would have matched Williams's pace, says racing director Eric Boullier

Fuel saving cost McLaren-Honda 50 seconds in Russian Grand Prix

Fernando Alonso finished sixth, one lap down, but was 52.829 seconds behind fourth-placed Valtteri Bottas at Sochi.

Boullier says that gap was entirely down to the Honda engine's fuel appetite compared to rival power units.

"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].

"But that the pace was good and the drivers were happy with the car balance.

"Fernando had some fun."

Alonso's team-mate Jenson Button was 10th to give McLaren its first double-points finish since last year's Hungarian GP.

Boullier said McLaren's race pace was better than expected and a welcome tonic after it just missed out on Q3.

"We keep bringing performance and missing Q3 for one tenth was a bit of blow," he said.

"But it was a good surprise in the race because our race pace was better than expected."

Alonso was delighted with the result as he felt it was reward for the team's hard work of late.

"I feel happy," he said. "We deserve the points, finally, after some unlucky situations. The pace was very good.

"We've been lucky at the start, we recovered some places after the accidents, but then the car performed quite well and we didn't have any threat from behind.

"We had the fifth-fastest lap of the race so I think sixth position is what we deserve and I'm happy with the way everything is going.

"We seem more and more competitive every race, so let's hope from Barcelona and Monaco to get some more points."

shares
comments
Russian Grand Prix driver ratings
Previous article

Russian Grand Prix driver ratings

Next article

Force India frustrated by 'ridiculous' Russian GP start crashes

Force India frustrated by 'ridiculous' Russian GP start crashes
Why Vasseur relishes 'feeling the pressure' as Ferrari's F1 boss Plus

Why Vasseur relishes 'feeling the pressure' as Ferrari's F1 boss

OPINION: Fred Vasseur has spent only a few weeks as team principal for the Ferrari Formula 1 team, but is already intent on taking the Scuderia back to the very top. And despite it being arguably the most demanding job in motorsport, the Frenchman is relishing the challenge

The crucial tech changes F1 teams must adapt to in 2023 Plus

The crucial tech changes F1 teams must adapt to in 2023

Changes to the regulations for season two of Formula 1's ground-effects era aim to smooth out last year’s troubles and shut down loopholes. But what areas have been targeted, and what impact will this have?

Formula 1
Jan 26, 2023
Are these the 50 quickest drivers in F1 history? Plus

Are these the 50 quickest drivers in F1 history?

Who are the quickest drivers in Formula 1 history? LUKE SMITH asked a jury of experienced and international panel of experts and F1 insiders. Some of them have worked closely with F1’s fastest-ever drivers – so who better to vote on our all-time top 50? We’re talking all-out speed here rather than size of trophy cabinet, so the results may surprise you…

Formula 1
Jan 25, 2023
One easy way the FIA could instantly improve F1 Plus

One easy way the FIA could instantly improve F1

OPINION: During what is traditionally a very quiet time of year in the Formula 1 news cycle, FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem has been generating headlines. He’s been commenting on massive topics in a championship that loves them, but also addressing necessary smaller changes too. Here we suggest a further refinement that would be a big boon to fans

Formula 1
Jan 24, 2023
How can McLaren keep hold of Norris? Plus

How can McLaren keep hold of Norris?

Lando Norris is no longer the young cheeky-chappy at McLaren; he’s now the established ace. And F1's big guns will come calling if the team can’t give him a competitive car. Here's what the team needs to do to retain its prize asset

Formula 1
Jan 24, 2023
What difference did F1's fastest pitstops of 2022 make? Plus

What difference did F1's fastest pitstops of 2022 make?

While a quick pitstop can make all the difference to the outcome of a Formula 1 race, most team managers say consistency is more important than pure speed. MATT KEW analyses the fastest pitstops from last season to see which ones – if any – made a genuine impact

Formula 1
Jan 23, 2023
When F1 ‘holiday’ races kept drivers busy through the winter Plus

When F1 ‘holiday’ races kept drivers busy through the winter

Modern Formula 1 fans have grown accustomed to a lull in racing during winter in the northern hemisphere. But, as MAURICE HAMILTON explains, there was a time when teams headed south of the equator rather than bunkering down in the factory. And why not? There was fun to be had, money to be made and reputations to forge…

Formula 1
Jan 20, 2023
What Porsche social media frenzy says about F1’s manufacturer allure Plus

What Porsche social media frenzy says about F1’s manufacturer allure

Porsche whipped up a frenzy thanks to a cryptic social media post last week and, although it turned out to be a false alarm, it also highlighted why manufacturers remain such an important element in terms of the attraction that they bring to F1. It is little wonder that several other manufacturers are bidding for a slice of the action

Formula 1
Jan 19, 2023