2016 British Grand Prix – race report
"It wasn’t an easy afternoon… but undoubtedly our time will come"
Silverstone Circuit, Sunday July 10
It was an uneventful home race for McLaren-Honda, Jenson Button finishing 12th and Fernando Alonso 13th after failing to make significant progress in the wet-to-dry conditions.
The opportunity to capitalise in the opening laps was negated by the decision to start the race behind the Safety Car. With few strategic options available, Fernando dropped places in the busy pit-lane as half the field stopped to switch from Full Wets to Intermediates. A lap-24 spin – on a wet track at Turn One – dropped him farther down the order, and a late switch to a fresh set of Primes failed to enable him to climb back into the top 10.
Jenson drove cleanly throughout, but his climb through the field slowed after everyone switched to dry-weather tyres. He pushed to close the gap to the top 10, but he eventually finished 12th.
FERNANDO ALONSO, MP4-31-02
|Fastest Lap:||1m35.669s on lap 43 (+0.121s, 2nd)|
|Pitstops:||Three: lap 5 (5.74s), 17 (2.56s) and 39 (2.83s) [Full Wet-Inter-Prime-Prime]|
“There’s not much to be proud about after finishing 12th and 13th today.
“In the tricky conditions at the start, you can go from hero to zero in the space of one lap, so we just did what we could with the strategy. We lost some positions during the stops, unfortunately, so we need to go away and look at that.
“There was a point in the race where I felt I could have scored a few points – when I was pushing hard behind Felipe [Massa] – but it was just too difficult to overtake. Then I went off at Turn One.
“It was a tough race, but, even though it may not look like it, I think we’ve made a step forward this weekend; we’re more competitive. We could fight with Williams, Force India and Toro Rosso in the race, and that’s good news.”
JENSON BUTTON, MP4-31-03
|Fastest Lap:||1m37.907s on lap 36 (+2.359s, 16th)|
|Pitstops:||Two: lap 6 (2.48s) and 17 (2.85s) [Full Wet-Inter-Prime]|
“It was definitely the right decision to start the race behind the Safety Car – it was super-wet and there was loads of standing water, but I think it should have been recalled two laps earlier.
“Then, when the Safety Car pitted, everyone boxed for Inters, so I decided to do the opposite, which was a good thing as I overtook a couple of cars. For the second stop, it was better to stop sooner rather than later, but I was stuck behind Valterri [Bottas], so I stayed out for another lap.
“My race wasn’t helped by starting 17th: to get into the points, we need to qualify inside the top 10, hold on in the race, not make mistakes and hope to stay there. I couldn’t really close on the cars in front of me because we don’t yet have quite enough pace in the car to make up sufficient places in the race.
“It wasn’t an easy afternoon, but it was great to see all the fans cheering at the end. They got a British victory as well, so I’m sure they’re very happy.”
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ERIC BOULLIER - Racing director, McLaren-Honda
“Obviously we aren’t happy to have finished 12th and 13th in our home grand prix.
“Having said that, I want to say ‘well done’ to Jenson and Fernando, who both coped admirably in extremely challenging conditions, especially in the early stages of the race, when aquaplaning was a significant hazard.
“They never gave up, and continued to push, right to the end. Indeed, had Fernando not gone off when he was dicing with Felipe [Massa], he may well have scored points.
“Equally, I want to pay tribute to Honda, whose power units ran like clockwork all weekend.
“Next we go to the Hungaroring, whose tortuous nature we hope will suit our car’s performance envelope rather better than has Silverstone this weekend.
“Last but very far from least, I want to say a final ‘thank you’ on behalf of all at McLaren-Honda to the Silverstone crowd, the best race fans in the world, who braved an early downpour uncomplainingly and then cheered the local winner to the echo. We’re only sorry that it wasn’t a McLaren-Honda victory they were acclaiming, but undoubtedly our time will come.”
YUSUKE HASEGAWA - Honda R&D head of F1 project & executive chief engineer
“Both the team and our drivers did a solid job during the ever-changing conditions of the race. There were many chaotic moments in the pit-lane due to the safety car start, and out on track due to the track conditions, but the pit-stops and the garage work were spot-on today.
“From our point of view it was another encouraging weekend. Reliability was once again good and the drivers were able to have some great on track battles.
“However, it was a disappointing end as Fernando was running well until mid-race, and there was a possibility for us to be in the points.
“However, we were just not strong enough today.”