Ferrari are now firm favourites to finish third in the Constructors’ Championship – but McLaren’s Andreas Seidl has no plans to “give up”.
Since the Turkish Grand Prix things have very much turned Ferrari’s way in the chase for the bronze medal, their drivers helped by an engine upgrade.
As a result, the Scuderia have moved 13.5 points clear of McLaren, most recently helped by P5 and P6 finishes for Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz respectively at the Mexican Grand Prix whereas McLaren collected only a solitary point via Lando Norris.
McLaren were hindered considerably when Daniel Ricciardo hit pole-sitter Valtteri Bottas at the opening corner and after both he and the Mercedes driver immediately made pit-stops, they could never get back into contention for points.
— McLaren (@McLarenF1) November 8, 2021
Seidl, however, is prepared to write that off as a bad day at the office for his team and knows there is still plenty of opportunity to make up the deficit with four races remaining – at circuits that potentially could suit McLaren better than Mexico.
“I think the most important thing is to accept days like Sunday can happen in racing,” said the team principal, quoted by Motorsport Week.
“At the same time they can happen to a competitor, so there is no reason to give up this fight. We move on and race again straight away next weekend [in Brazil] and try to strike back.
“The disappointment on Sunday was we only scored one point, but again this can happen to our competitors. We just need to focus on ourselves and score points consistently, which we didn’t manage on Sunday.”
As Norris had to start 18th in Mexico due to an engine penalty, it was particularly galling for McLaren that Ricciardo suffered his opening-lap incident as he was their only real weapon against the Ferraris.
“Starting P7, the objective was clear, to stay in the battle with the Ferraris with Daniel, which didn’t happen at Turn 1 and then it was a pretty difficult afternoon,” reflected Seidl. “Norris’ objective was to get back into the points, which he managed with P10.
“On Daniel’s side, he had a good start, picking up positions. Then into Turn 1 he had a short lock-up but he managed to get under control again to make the apex, and then the driver from the outside, they came together in a racing incident that wrecked our Sunday afternoon.”
Ricciardo was not penalised for his clash with Bottas, which Seidl insisted was the right call as “Daniel managed to make the apex, at the same time when cars are closing in from the outside, all around him”.
Norris comeback drive only limits McLaren damage
Lando Norris scored McLaren's only point at the Mexican GP after a great comeback drive.