On Sunday 2-time world champion Fernando Alonso finally looked like he might be having fun. While not winning the race outright, his legitimate 7th place finish means the that McLaren is improving and is on its way to fulfilling the promise that Alonso and Jenson Button both saw in the team when he defected there in 2014.
“I think Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull are out of reach at the moment, so in the other mini-championship that we race in, I think today we delivered the best result possible. So happy with that and hopefully we can keep this progression.”
But as is the case with any team in Formula One, one driver’s triumph is tempered by one driver’s frustration. A hydraulic failure early in the race was preventing Button from full applying his brakes let him to bluntly ask his team “This is going to be the race from hell”. However, little did he know that the race promoters would be doing everything they could to ensure that this race was not going to get any better. When his team responded over the radio, telling him to “not shift” they ran afoul of the controversial new radio transmission regulations, relegating him and the team to a 5-second pit stop penalty.