De Ferran: Disappointing weekend, despite positives for McLaren

20-03-2019 11:00
by Bobby Vincent
General
De Ferran: Disappointing weekend, despite positives for McLaren

Gil de Ferran has revealed there are lots of positives to take for McLaren from the weekend in Australia, but also faced disappointment by being one of only two teams not to score a single point in Melbourne.

Carlos Sainz Jr. retired from the race early on his McLaren debut due to a suspected MGU-K failure - and his team-mate and F1 debutant Lando Norris only managing 12th-place after being unable to pass Alfa Romeo Racing's Antonio Giovinazzi.

De Ferran, the sporting director at McLaren, has revealed there is an overall feeling of disappointment, obviously with Sainz's retirement but also that Norris was in eighth before his pit stop.

"Overall, I must admit that, although there were several positives to draw from this weekend in general, we come away from the Australian Grand Prix," de Ferran admitted. 

"Carlos had a good start, but unfortunately had to retire with an early mechanical failure. On Lando's side, the race was going well early on, until he was held up in traffic for some laps, which sealed his result outside the points.

"On the positive side, I'm pleased that Lando was able to put up a fighting performance in his debut grand prix and see the chequered flag."

De Ferran continued to say his pre-season prediction of a close and tight midfield battle looks like it will come true and the Bahrain Grand Prix could be heavily determined by the pace of the MCL34.

"As predicted, it's clear that several teams are in a tight battle, including ourselves, so any small improvements in our pace and execution can have a significant impact on our ranking," the McLaren sporting director added.

"So, head down, and onwards to Bahrain."

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