Saturday, July 20, 2024

McLaren’s Ian James Admits ‘Something Was Fundamentally Wrong’

NEOM McLaren Formula E Team endured a very disappointing weekend at the Jakarta E-Prix double-header, as the Woking-based side slipped to seventh in the 2022/23 ABB FIA Formula E World Championship.

McLaren left the Indonesian capital with just a point, which came courtesy of Jake Hughes finishing tenth on Saturday. The rookie actually did remarkably well to finish tenth, given that he started the race in twentieth. René Rast on the other hand, finished Saturday’s race in fifteenth, despite having made it to the duels in qualifying.

Sunday is where everything went wrong for the British team though, as Hughes retired and Rast finished fifteenth once again. Both drivers suffered from some sort of issue during the second race of the weekend, with Team Principal Ian James admitting that clearly “something was fundamentally wrong”. The aim now is to “understand what exactly happened”, with the bad weekend having seen McLaren slip outside the top six in the standings for the first time this season.

“Today was clearly a massive disappointment for the team,” James said after Sunday’s race.

“It’s one thing to come away from an event knowing you were in the fight but, to be frank, we were never really in the race today at all. We’re still trying to understand what actually happened, but the fact that Jake started to fall back early on and René towards the latter stages of the race indicates that something was fundamentally wrong.

“The team is already ploughing through the data and has started to identify values which point to an issue on both cars. It’s obviously bitterly disappointing for the team to experience a day like this. It’s important though that whatever the root cause of the issue, we improve that which lies within our control, put the necessary containment in place and make sure that it doesn’t happen again.

“The team is working hard on doing exactly that at the moment. All in all it’s been a tough weekend for us as a team here in Jakarta. It was nice to be able to race here again, but to leave here with one single point falls well short of our expectations. We’ll be putting in all the work needed to come back way stronger in Portland and beyond. We are looking forward to the opportunity of redemption.”