McLaren Honda was upbeat after qualifying for the Hungarian Grand Prix. Getting their cars lined up in 7th and 8th is what they had hoped for, aware that the top three teams were out of reach anyway. Both drivers appeared confident they can continue this display in today's race.
“We always knew that this was likely to be a strong track for us, so to line up seventh and eighth – effectively the ‘best of the rest’ underlines the inherent pace of our package.", commented racing director Eric Boullier.
“But I think what’s more satisfying is that we’ve shown such consistent pace throughout the whole weekend. That gives us the confidence to believe that we can convert these starting positions into equally strong points-scoring places tomorrow.
“Both drivers have been extremely closely matched in every session, and there’s a feeling that we’re really pulling together as a cohesive team now. It’s safe to say that we’re all looking forward to an intense, fun and productive grand prix tomorrow.”
Alonso qualified 8th and Vandoorne 9th, seperating them by approximately 3 tenths of a second. However, both gain a spot on the starting grid as 6th fastest in qualifying, Nico Hulkenberg, was given a 5-place penalty for a gearbox change on his Renault.
Honda's Yusuke Hasegawa is even more optimistic and hopes the drivers can gain some positions in the start.
“Fernando and Stoffel had a good impression of the car yesterday and the team utilised this morning’s practice session by further working on the set-up ahead of qualifying", Hasegawa said.
"They both then drove incredibly well this afternoon to close up to the front-runners.
“Today’s result is down to the drivers, improvements to our PU, and also the aero upgrades the team has brought here. Hopefully this will give everyone a boost before the summer break and before the second half of the season begins.
“We know there is still a performance gap, but we also think we’re quite competitive here. Hopefully we’ll have a chance to improve our positions in the race if we have a good start as overtaking is difficult here. We hope to get our best race of the season here in Hungary tomorrow.”