McLaren: We still have a lot of work to do

Kevin Magnussen

Kevin Magnussen

From the burning heat of central Germany to the baking plains of northern Hungary, the grand prix paddock regrouped for this weekend’s Hungarian Grand Prix, the race that brings the curtain down on the first half of the 2014 FIA Formula 1 World Championship.

Despite several disruptions to their runs due to traffic, Jenson and Kevin both managed to complete their practice programmes. Without any significant upgrades for the weekend, the engineering team’s focus centred on refining the suite of components introduced in Germany last weekend.

Today’s sessions were inconclusive, and there will be more work to do tonight to refine the car’s balance and set-up.

Kevin Magnussen, MP4-29-02: “We had a reasonable day, with no real problems. We also managed to get through the whole testing programme complete, which was a positive. The new components that we introduced in Germany still feel good – we’re still getting more from them – but there’s always further fine-tuning to do. We just need to keep up this impressive rate of development into the second half of the season. I may have ended FP2 fifth-fastest, but I think our job is going to be a little more difficult than it was last weekend. At Hockenheim, the car’s pace was good enough for the top five, but we’re probably a little bit further behind than that this weekend.”

Jenson Button, MP4-29-03: “I had a relatively good run on the Soft tyre using high fuel, so I’m feeling happier about that, but the balance over a single lap is something we need to concentrate on tonight. It was quite difficult to be consistent; the car felt different from corner to corner, from lap to lap. I like a precise car, and we didn’t quite nail that today – but I think we know why that is and we’ll change it for tomorrow. I’m not too worried. Looking at the timesheets, it’s quite difficult to know where we stand – we’re not up there with the Mercedes or the Red Bulls, but the Williams cars seem a little less competitive compared to the last race. We still have a lot of work to do tonight.”

Eric Boullier, Racing Director, McLaren Mercedes: “On such a tight circuit, and with so much traffic, it’s sometimes difficult to get a clear read on pace and performance during practice at the Hungaroring. During both sessions, Jenson and Kevin noted that their runs were being interrupted by traffic – but it’s the same for everybody, and I don’t think it disrupted our programme too significantly. While neither driver really felt like they discovered the sweet-spot of their cars today, I think we nonetheless managed to gather some useful long-run data. There’s quite a bit of analysis that needs to take place tonight before we can feel confident about the rest of the weekend, but I think we’ve made a solid start.”

(McLaren F1)