McLaren remain confident Constructors’ P3 is in reach

Henry Valantine
McLaren driver Daniel Ricciardo walks through the paddock. Brazil November 2021.

Daniel Ricciardo wears a mask while walking through the paddock at Interlagos. Brazil November 2021.

Daniel Ricciardo and Lando Norris both say McLaren can close the gap to Ferrari in the Constructors’ Championship, with the Scuderia having taken P3 away from them.

Ferrari appear to have made more progress with their car then McLaren in recent races, and have overhauled their rivals in the Constructors’ standings to take that all-important third place away for now – crucial for the teams, given the amount of prize money at stake.

The Scuderia’s strong showing in Mexico combined with a disappointing afternoon for McLaren to enable Ferrari to open up a 13.5-point cushion to Ricciardo and Norris behind.

Ricciardo said previously that the team will “put up a good fight” against Ferrari, and his mentality has not changed.

Given how close the teams have been performance-wise all season, the Australian is relishing becoming the “hunters” again in the Constructors’ race, and feels the final race of the year in Abu Dhabi will settle the fight between the two.

“Absolutely, absolutely, it’s still doable,” Ricciardo told reporters in Brazil. “We’ve been, let’s say, third [for] most of the season; now they are. Let’s see. We’ll be the hunters and let’s see what happens. I think it’s going to go down to the last race.

“I do think we can peg it back and come back in the fight and yes, obviously Mexico wasn’t great from a points swing but no concerns, I think we’re still very much in it.”

While Ricciardo finished outside of the top 10 in Mexico after his first-lap tangle with Valtteri Bottas, team-mate Norris managed to recover from the back of the grid to take a solitary point come the chequered flag.

The Briton says a lot of work has been going on behind the scenes at McLaren to see how they can reel their rivals back in, and his first hope is to try and get back on terms with Ferrari at Interlagos.

“Ferrari have been the stronger team lately,” said Norris. “They’ve been the guys who have been consistently ahead in qualifying and the races, so looking at the stats lately, you would put them ahead.

“But we’re working hard, we’ve done a lot of reviews from Mexico and looking back at two years ago we had a pretty decent car and Carlos was on the podium… so we’re hopeful, we’re confident we can have a good weekend.

“We’ve had bad weekends, Ferrari have had bad weekends; we have to make sure we bounce back this weekend with a better one.”


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