McLaren-Honda racing director Eric Boullier has shut down the idea of the team being pleased with a double points finish last time out at Monaco and says he expected better results at a circuit which would play to his team's strengths.
For the second time this season McLaren notched up a double points finish at the Monaco Grand Prix as Fernando Alonso grabbed an impressive fifth with his team-mate Jenson Button ninth.
After the Woking-based team's disastrous 2015 upon its comeback with Honda as engine supplier, this season has seen both drivers enjoy stronger starts compared to 12 months ago, albeit punctuated by Alonso's massive shunt in Australia which ruled him out of Bahrain.
However, Boullier says the double points in Monaco produced less than he expected from the race weekend in terms of results, partly down to a strategy gaff which put Button in traffic, and feels the team can't be satisfied with results until it is challenging for wins and championships.
“Monaco for us was a bag of mixed fortunes,” Boullier said. “A double-points finish was an encouraging boost for the team and a reward in some way for all the hard work going on behind the scenes in Woking, Milton Keynes and Sakura – but it's no secret that until we are back at the front, we cannot be satisfied.
“We had anticipated a stronger performance on the twisty, slower-speed, tricky streets of Monaco, but nevertheless we've learned a lot about our car and cannot be too unhappy given the incredibly difficult conditions on race day, which our two world champions coped with so well.”
Despite admitting Canada's track layout of high speeds and fast straights will not suit the McLaren-Honda, Boullier feels the strides of improvements enjoyed over recent races leaves both drivers in a position to battle for points once again.
“On paper, this power-hungry, demanding circuit is not among those that would play to the strengths of our car,” he said. “But such is our rate of development that we are aiming to continue the momentum we've built over the last couple of races, and firmly push for more valuable points.
“It won't be easy, and reliability will be key, first and foremost, but our objective is to put on the best show we can.”