McLaren F1 team frustrated with first lap crashes holding it back

The McLaren-Honda Formula 1 team deserves a clean race to prove its upgrades after its recent first-lap crashes in grands prix, says its racing director Eric Boullier

McLaren F1 team frustrated with first lap crashes holding it back

Fernando Alonso received McLaren's major development package for the Austrian GP, only to be wiped out in a violent crash when Kimi Raikkonen lost control of his Ferrari in the McLaren's path on the first lap.

Last time out at the British GP, Alonso spun into team-mate Jenson Button's car as he tried to avoid a collision between Romain Grosjean, Daniel Ricciardo and Pastor Maldonado. Button had to retire, but Alonso continued to finish 10th.

Boullier, who underlined that the death of Jules Bianchi last week put McLaren's tough season "into perspective", said McLaren was getting frustrated by incidents outside its control.

"We head to Hungary keen to shake off the poor luck we've encountered in recent races," he said.

"It's been a source of great frustration to see new components and upgrades destroyed before they've had the chance to be race-proven, through a series of first-lap accidents.

"However, the unshakeable belief and optimism of Fernando and Jenson has set the example for the whole team: they are remarkable assets, and their commitment during these times is incredibly valuable.

"Honda, too, has shown a commitment that remains admirably undiminished.

"I hope that our performance in Hungary will scratch the surface on the performance and potential that lies within our organisation - it would be great to go into the break feeling re-energised about the races ahead."

Button agreed that McLaren was now in better shape than its results were suggesting.

"There's been absolutely no let-up on the technical side - having personally seen the effort that's been going on at MTC, and heard about the work that's being done at Sakura, I know we're slowly but surely getting there," he said.

"Of course, that's difficult to substantiate without decent results, but let's hope we can go into the summer break feeling confident about the second half of the season."

Alonso believes the twisty Hungaroring will be one of McLaren's better opportunities of the season.

"I think the team is looking forward to this race: the track will offer us a reasonable opportunity to showcase our steady progress, and I'd like to think that, if everything runs smoothly, we could have a less difficult weekend," he said.

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