Monday, June 24, 2024

McLaren’s Ian James: “There is still performance to be found in the overall package”

NEOM McLaren Formula E Team enjoyed a solid weekend at the Monaco E-Prix, with the Woking-based team having successfully returned to the points places after enduring a point-less double-header in Berlin.

With upgrades at their disposal, McLaren looked much more competitive on Saturday at the iconic Circuit de Monaco, with rookie Jake Hughes having done brilliantly to claim his and the team’s second pole position of the 2022/23 ABB FIA Formula E World Championship. Hughes actually lost the Final to Sacha Fenestraz; however, the Frenchman had his time deleted for an overuse of power.

Whilst Hughes claimed pole, team-mate René Rast could only secure fourteenth on the grid, following a disappointing qualifying for the German. The race didn’t go that much better for Rast, with him having been involved in a collision which resulted in him needing a new front wing. Rast ultimately had to settle for seventeenth, whilst Hughes held on to fifth.

The Briton just didn’t have the pace to be amongst the race leaders, who are all title contenders. It nevertheless marked his third fifth-place finish of the season, with him having secured some excellent points for him and the British team. The result kept McLaren in a lonely sixth in the Constructors’ Championship, with them still not quite being on terms with the leading teams.

Despite this, Team Principal Ian James was pleased to see the car working so well; however, he noted that “there is still performance to be found”.

“Monaco is always a very special place to race and the Pole Position Jake achieved is a real milestone for the NEOM McLaren Formula E Team. It was also great to see 3 Nissan-powered cars at the front of the grid. The only negative was not getting things right for René in his qualifying group.
“Naturally, from their respective starting positions, Jake and René were following different strategies. The nature of the GEN3 racing is such that there is significant risk at all times and both drivers were involved in contact with other cars which affected their respective races. For René this meant a trip through the pitlane for a new nose, effectively ending his chance of fighting for points. For Jake, a solid P5 has earned some good points, to add to those he collected for his Pole. 
“However, we can also see that there is still performance to be found in the overall package and we’ll continue to push for improvements throughout the remainder of this season. Next stop Jakarta.”