July 7th, 2013 (F1Plus / Chris Cameron-Dow) - McLaren enjoyed a competitive outing at the Nurburgring, one of only a few reasonable showings the team has had in a troubled 2013 season. Jenson Button started ninth and finished sixth, while Sergio Perez fought his way to eighth from 13th on the grid.
The results could have been one better for each driver. Both Button and Perez lost a position on the final lap. Button was passed by Lewis Hamilton after being held up by the battling Caterhams and Perez was passed by a fast-charging Mark Webber who was recovering from an early botched pitstop.
McLaren scored a total of 12 points in the German Grand Prix, which has helped them to reduce the gap to Force India in the Constructors' Championship to just 10 points. Unfortunately for the team from Woking, they are likely to struggle in the second half of the season, as their development focus has already switched to the 2014 car now that it is practically impossible to mount a challenge for either championship.
This is what the drivers had to say after the German Grand Prix:
Jenson Button: “There are a lot of positives to take away from this weekend; our pace was reasonably good; it’s nice to be racing cars closer to the front, such as the Mercedes; our laptimes compared to the four cars at the front weren’t too bad either; and today’s points are badly needed right now.
“Unfortunately, the two Caterhams fighting in front of me in the closing laps probably cost me fifth place. When you’re fighting for position, you expect the backmarkers to move over, even if they’re fighting for position themselves. It’s a shame – those points could be so important for us later in the season.
“The Safety Car also didn’t help our strategy – but we were a lot stronger this weekend than we’ve been for the past few races.
“We can be positive – as a team, we didn’t put a foot wrong all weekend, and we got the best out of what we have.
“Overall, it’s a positive day for the team – now we just need to find some more pace in the car.”
Sergio Perez: “My car performed a lot better today than it did yesterday. We had better pace and degradation than we’d expected: we managed a very long final stint, and I think we maximised everything today. We should be happy.
“After the Safety Car, it was like the start of a second race. I just focused on preserving the tyres over that long stint – the car and tyres performed very strongly, but we just lost out on the final corner. It was always going to be difficult to hold Mark [Webber] back.
“This is a good step on from Silverstone – it’s been a very promising weekend, and I hope we can take another step forward for Hungary.”