McLaren has moved back above Force India in the battle for fifth place in the Formula 1 constructors’ championship after enjoying its best weekend since the Australian Grand Prix back in March at the Sochi Autodrom today.
Jenson Button endured a lonely race en route to fourth place in Russia as Fernando Alonso’s early threat faded as the race went on. The Ferrari driver also lost out to Button’s teammate, Kevin Magnussen, who came home in fifth place.
This strong double-score marks the team’s best result since the Australian Grand Prix in March, where Magnussen and Button finished in second and third place respectively.
“Well, that wasn’t a bad day at all,” Button said after the race. “I reckon we got the maximum out of the car. I had a little scare at turn three on lap one, when Fernando and I got very close to each other, but apart from that it was a pretty straightforward race.
“It’s been a tough year for us but over the past few grands prix it’s been clear that we’ve been improving. Today’s result, fourth and fifth, is the best we’ve had for a little while, and the 22 world championship points that Kevin and I scored are very welcome from a constructors’ world championship point of view.”
Magnussen even compared the race to a relaxed Sunday drive as he faced little opposition on track.
“It was a pretty uneventful afternoon for me,” he said. “It was almost like a chilled-out Sunday drive, in fact, because I was easing off the power 200 metres before the corners in an effort to save fuel.
“I was really surprised that no-one was able to catch me, in fact. I guess the guys behind me must have been experiencing the same problem.”
The team now leads Force India by 10 points in the constructors’ championship with three races remaining as it prepares to wave goodbye to Mercedes power ahead of Honda’s arrival in 2015.