Monday, May 27, 2024

René Rast Believes McLaren ‘Deserved More’ in Portland

René Rast left the inaugural Portland E-Prix feeling like the NEOM McLaren Formula E Team “deserved more”, after the British side endured a challenging race.

Similar to so many rounds of the 2022/23 ABB FIA Formula E World Championship, Rast and McLaren in general showed excellent pace throughout free practice and qualifying. The German driver actually topped Free Practice 1, before going on to make the Semi-Finals in qualifying. Rast had to settle for fourth on the grid after being eliminated by polesitter Jake Dennis; however, it still marked an excellent starting position.

Once again though, Rast struggled to manage his energy during the race, which caused him to tumble down the order. He was left to finish the race in a disappointing fourteenth, with him now wanting the team to investigate “what went wrong exactly” to cause him to struggle so much during the race.

“That was a difficult weekend, and we’re coming away without any points. On the positive side, our pace was good in Qualifying. I qualified P4 and we were fighting for Pole Position, so we know our one-lap pace is strong.

“The race didn’t go our way, we made some errors and we weren’t able to collect any points. I think we deserved more, but we need to analyse what went wrong exactly and come back fighting in Rome.”

“I wasn’t super comfortable with the balance” – Jake Hughes

Jake Hughes‘ weekend in Portland was very similar to Rast’s, as the rookie also showed great pace in qualifying.

The British driver progressed into the duels where he was then eliminated in the Quarter-Finals, leaving him to start from sixth. Once again though, he struggled to manage his energy just like his team-mate, resulting in him finishing the twelfth round of the season in a very disappointing eighteenth.

It certainly wasn’t the result Hughes was expecting; however, like his team-mate, the British driver wants McLaren to “understand what happened” to improve their race pace in Rome.

“Our week in Portland was a bit disappointing. From my side, I wasn’t super comfortable with the balance of the car at the start of the week, but the team managed to correct it well which enabled me to qualify P6.

“Starting P6, we were quite confident we could get some good points, but the race was incredibly challenging. The result is a very disappointing one from both sides of the garage. We need to understand what happened better, to ensure we can be better going forward.” 

Credit: Sam Bagnall courtesy of FIA Formula E