“Finishing the race today was our first priority”
Autódromo José Carlos Pace, Sunday November 15
#14 Fernando Alonso
Fastest Lap 1m16.519s on lap 54 (+1.689s, 15th)
Pit-stops Three: lap 13 (2.59s), lap 32 (2.70s), lap 52 (3.53s) [Opt-Pri-Opt-Opt]
“Finishing the race today was our first priority after having suffered retirements on recent Sunday afternoons, so it’s good news that both cars saw the chequered flag and we collected some good data, especially for next year and especially for the chassis, to see which is the best way to go to keep moving forward.
“The chassis has already improved a lot in terms of aerodynamics, and corner speed is good; but we are still missing power.
“Unfortunately, the car was not working 100% at the beginning of the race. It sometimes felt strange to drive, with different power in different gears, so I was having to try to avoid the odd gear from time to time. I think the reason for that was that after qualifying we fitted a brand-new engine and we didn’t have any laps in which to set it up.
“Anyway, we have just one more 2015 grand prix to go now. I can’t wait to start working 100 percent on 2016.”
#22 Jenson Button
Fastest Lap 1m16.321s on lap 53 (+1.489s, 12th)
Pit-stops Three: lap 12 (2.67s), lap 31 (3.77s), lap 51 (3.00s) [Opt-Pri-Opt-Opt]
“We never enjoy P15, but the race itself was reasonably pleasurable – I could push the car and fight people in the corners.
“We know where our weaknesses are, so let’s concentrate on the positives. So there was an interesting feel to the car out there today, we had reliability, and we ended up 12 seconds behind the last points-scoring position, which is probably closer than we’d expected to be.
“Okay, we were a long way off the front-runners’ pace – when they come past it’s scary how fast they are, especially on the straights. But, as for the midfield pack, through the corners we’re pretty competitive, as I say, which means you can have a bit of fun out there.
“We’ll be back at the factory on Tuesday and hopefully we can continue to develop the car. There’s a lot of room for improvement but it feels like we’re going in the right direction, which is promising, and I’m enjoying inputting into that. I have strong belief – in Ron [Dennis] and his leadership, and in the teams at both Woking and Sakura. We’re a team that’s pushing hard and we’ll make massive strides in the winter. I’m really looking forward to next season.
“We’re working massively hard. We’ve probably produced more new parts than any other team, and they seem to be working. We had new front wings here, and it’ll be interesting to go back to the MTC on Tuesday to study the data and see if they’ve helped us move forward, but it already feels like they have.
“Hopefully in the next race, Abu Dhabi, we’ll do a little better again.”
Racing director, McLaren-Honda
“For a team that has won the Brazilian Grand Prix no fewer than 12 times in the past – more than any other équipe – to finish 15th and 16th here today is of course far from agreeable.
“However, yet again, both Jenson and Fernando drove forcefully and skilfully, in trying conditions, their efforts compromised not least by the uphill gradient of the main straight, which was always going to be inimical to the optimisation of our car’s specific performance envelope.
“Nonetheless, both their Honda power units ran like clockwork today, exhibiting faultless reliability throughout the afternoon, and that laudable achievement represents a sound and solid developmental platform on which we can build for the future.”
Honda R&D senior managing officer – chief officer of motorsport
“First, I would like to thank the McLaren-Honda mechanics and engineers, who, with the cooperation of
the FIA, were able to prepare Fernando’s car for the race today.
“The race itself was less eventful than the practice sessions had been. Most of the cars finished where they’d started,
which resulted in a P15 and a P16 for us.
“In order to fight with the midfield runners, we need to utilise the full three days of the race weekend, to set up both the
car and the power unit; but, for the Brazilian Grand Prix, we lost much of this precious time.
“The last race in 2015 will be in Abu Dhabi, where McLaren-Honda united as a team one year ago. It will be important for us to show our progression and perform to the maximum of our current abilities there.”