Home Auto A Weekend of Missed Opportunities for McLaren Racing

A Weekend of Missed Opportunities for McLaren Racing

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Jake Hughes Neom Mclaren Formula E Team Nd Position Photo Alastair Stanley
Jake Hughes Neom Mclaren Formula E Team Nd Position Photo Alastair Stanley

It was a busy weekend for McLaren Racing, as the iconic outfit competed in three motorsport series across the world on the weekend of 25 and 26 May. The racing action began on Saturday with the NEOM McLaren Formula E Team participating in the first round of the Shanghai E-Prix. Sunday saw all three teams involved, with Round 2 of the Shanghai E-Prix taking place, followed by the Monaco Grand Prix contested by the McLaren F1 Team and finally, the famous Indy500, which saw the Arrow McLaren Indy Car Team take to the iconic Indianapolis Motor Speedway. 

 

Across all three series, the papaya-liveried teams came close to clinching the race win. However, McLaren was left disappointed as none of their drivers were able to take the chequered flag and instead had to make do with a series of second-place finishes to take home from the intense weekend of motorsport action.

 

A maiden podium

The first of McLaren’s P2 finishes on Sunday came with Jake Hughes in Formula E in the second round of the Shanghai E-Prix. Hughes started the race in pole position after showcasing his blistering one-lap pace around the Shanghai International Circuit. While he has qualified on pole before, he has often struggled to convert it into a podium finish. This time though, the British driver demonstrated great racecraft, bringing home P2 and claiming his maiden Formula E podium in the process.

 

Speaking about Hughes’ performance, McLaren team principal Ian James said: “The race itself was superbly managed by Jake and he held off some strong competition to achieve a long-awaited, but very well-deserved, first Formula E podium. I know that this will give him the confidence he needs to take the fight forward to the final four races of the season.”

 

Never in doubt

The story of Oscar Piastri’s first Formula 1 podium finish in Monaco was a bit of a different story to Hughes’ trip to P2. After the Monaco Grand Prix was red-flagged on the first lap due to a crash involving both Haas cars and Sergio Perez’s Red Bull, most drivers bolted on a fresh set of hard-compound tyres which took them to the end of the race. Included in this was Piastri who was unable to get past eventual race-winner Charles Leclerc, who was on the same strategy as the Australian driver. As a result, Piastri spent the entire race in P2 around the notoriously difficult-to-overtake Circuit de Monaco, and never really came close to losing his position. 

 

Commenting on his maiden Monaco podium, Piastri said: “That was a tricky race. The pace at the beginning was incredibly slow. I had half a look before the tunnel but didn’t have a car small enough to fit through the gap. Thanks to the whole team who have worked so hard. It’s been a great weekend all around, and what better place to get a result like that than Monaco.”

 

Pato O Ward Indy Photo Mclaren Racing
Pato O Ward Indy Photo Mclaren Racing

Last-lap heartbreak

McLaren’s busy weekend of racing culminated in last-lap heartbreak for Pato O’Ward. In the 108th running of the Indianapolis 500, O’Ward looked set to claim his first victory at the iconic race heading into the final few corners. However, it wasn’t to be for the Mexican driver as with two corners left to go he was dramatically passed by Team Penske’s Josef Newgarden. In doing so, Newgarden became the first driver in 22 years to win the Indy500 back-to-back. 

 

Speaking on coming so close to winning IndyCar’s ultimate race, O’Ward stated: “Oh man, this is just so painful when you put so much into it to just come up two corners short. This place owes me nothing. It’s always a heartbreak whenever you’re so close, especially when it’s not the first time and you just don’t know how many opportunities like that you’ll have.”

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