Slow and steady progress for McLaren in Monaco

Leave a comment

McLaren’s rich history at Monaco may not be extended this weekend, but both Jenson Button and Sergio Perez are pleased to have made it through to Q3 for Formula One’s star event.

Perez led the team’s charge by qualifying 7th, and although he is disappointed to have not finished any higher, the young Mexican is pleased to have maximized the potential of the car.

“It’s not great to cross the finish line, feel like you’ve just done a mega lap, and find that you’re only 7th,” Perez explained in a team statement. “Still, I put in a really strong performance here today, and I felt like I’d really maximized the full potential of the car. We know we’re not quite there yet performance-wise, so we need to keep pushing.

“But the team has done a fantastic job so far this weekend, and I hope we can keep the momentum going tomorrow and score some good points. Anything can happen at Monaco on Sunday.”

For Button, a problem with the car cost him dearly in the final session, and he could only finish P9.

“I’m not sure what happened on my final lap in Q3. We had an issue with the car right at the end – I didn’t have any power, so I couldn’t post a quick lap. It’s a pity because, apart from that problem, which we also saw a sign of at the end of Q2, it had been a great qualifying session for me.

“The team did a great job in terms of putting me out on the right tires at the right time, while I felt I was driving well, making the most of the conditions. Tomorrow’s race will be difficult, starting from P9, but on this occasion there’s absolutely nothing I could have done about it.”

The team will be hoping to record another double-points score in Monaco in order to move ahead of Force India in the constructors’ championship.

Marco Andretti confident that fewer tests won’t hurt Andretti Autosport

Photo: IndyCar
Leave a comment

A small point of debate around the 2018 aero kit has been the manufacturer test days that took place through the Fall of 2017 and into the beginning of 2018. Chiefly, the debate has centered around teams who hadn’t participated in those manufacturer test days and if they’re starting the 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series season at a disadvantage as a result.

Team Penske, Ed Carpenter Racing, and A.J. Foyt Racing completed test days for Chevrolet, with Schmidt Peterson Motorsports and Chip Ganassi Racing doing so for Honda.

That left teams like Andretti Autosport out of the mix, with some voicing concerns as a result.

However, in a press conference during testing at ISM Raceway last weekend, Marco Andretti explained that he thinks Andretti Autosport should be able to catch up on development, citing the team’s resources – they’re the only IndyCar team with four full-time cars in their stable – and the fact that everyone is still adapting to the new kit.

“I feel like it’s early enough days that, yes, we can catch up,” Andretti said at ISM Raceway. “When there is anything new, a new car, new aero kit, at-track days are huge. We can sim all these things we want. To really get out there and confirm what we’re learning back at the shop is another thing.”

Ryan Hunter-Reay during testing at ISM Raceway. Photo: IndyCar

Andretti continued, “Yeah, I don’t think we should look at it like we’re behind the eight ball. With a four-car team, that’s where we can use it to our benefit. So far so good.”

Teammate Ryan Hunter-Reay, echoed Andretti’s sentiments, adding that while the situation is not perfect, they will need to adapt to it in order to remain competitive.

“Any time you have a new car, to put it into perspective, we’re on track three days on a road course before we get to (the season open in St. Petersburg). That’s a very short amount of time. It’s obviously not ideal, but we’re just going to lace up our boots and get on with it. That’s all you can do.”

Andretti Autosport will have one more team test, at Sebring International Raceway later on in February, before the season-opening Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.

Follow@KyleMLavigne