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McLaren Eyes Second Spot with Future Upgrades

McLaren Eyes Second Spot with Future Upgrades

11/04/2024

Amid the F1 grid, McLaren’s ambition to overtake Ferrari and clinch the second spot intensifies with upcoming car enhancements.

McLaren F1 is currently the third strongest team on the grid: trailing behind Red Bull and Ferrari, but ahead of Mercedes F1 and Aston Martin F1.

Could it become the second strongest with future developments? Indeed, we remember that from Austria last year, Woking managed a spectacular climb up the rankings.

This year, Andrea Stella, the team principal, is determined to replicate such a performance: admittedly, McLaren F1 is not starting from as far back, but the status of the second force is clearly in the Italian’s sights.

“We are pleased to have confirmed our solid third position in these first four races of the season. We have the third-best car, and this is reflected in the championship points.”

“This is therefore a positive point, for many reasons. The most important for me is that we have somehow consolidated the trajectory that McLaren started 12 months ago.”

“But this is a springboard. It’s a starting point for further improving the car, which is certainly necessary if you want to stay third – because the cars behind us will not just sit back and watch.”

“But I would like to say that we are looking forward. We consider Ferrari to be not very far ahead, and we know we have potential in the development of our car.”

“So, this is the race we want to run this year – like last year, a development race, and we will see at the end of the season who has done the best job.”

Updates are coming for Miami

After significantly evolving its car for the first race in Bahrain, McLaren F1 now aims for the Grand Prix in Miami (after China), to bring its next big package.

Andrea Stella, however, is not very pleased: Miami will be a ‘sprint’ weekend (as was China). Not ideal for introducing developments, with only one hour of free practice and the risk of accidents…

“I hope we can deploy the updates in Miami. Even if it’s a sprint weekend, I think the performance opportunity we have to find is worth considering – even for this kind of weekend.”

“That’s what we did last year in Austria, and it’s very likely what we’ll do this year in Miami. Once we have seen the level of performance we are capable of adding there, we will think more realistically about what we can do this season.”

McLaren Eyes Second Spot with Future Upgrades

McLaren F1 sets its sights on the constructors’ championship

It concluded last year’s championship in fourth place, having made a significant climb up the ranks during the second half of the season.

McLaren opened its account for the year in Australia, with Lando Norris crossing the finish line in third place.

Its strong start has given it a 35-point lead over rival Mercedes after the first four rounds, as it looks to maintain its position in the pecking order.

“Looking at the facts and figures, if we could secure a third-place finish in the championship, making McLaren the third-best car, that would be a satisfactory outcome for our team. We would certainly be pleased with such a final standing.”

However, Stella mentioned that the team is not overly focused on its final position as it won’t alter its development efforts for that.

“There are some tracks like Suzuka where we seem to be able to compete with Ferrari. So, we say ‘why not?’. But honestly, in Formula 1, your mindset is to push as hard as possible.”

“As a team, you try to develop your car as much as possible, maximize race weekends as much as possible, and then try to see where you stand at the end.”

“It wouldn’t make much of a difference for us to say ‘we want to finish 2nd or 1st’ because we’re developing the car as fast as possible anyway.”

“You could say that you might shift more resources towards the future – 2025 and 2026 – but the team is in a good position, in terms of having sufficient resources, to look ahead to 2025 and 2026 without concern.”

“We’ve found a good balance, and we’ll see the result at the end of the season. Once the major Miami package is rolled out, we’ll have more information on what we can compete for this year.”

McLaren Eyes Second Spot with Future Upgrades

McLaren Eyes Second Spot with Future Upgrades. McLaren Eyes Second Spot with Future Upgrades

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