McLaren ‘second strongest force’ behind Mercedes

Mark Scott
Carlos Sainz McLaren

Carlos Sainz has revealed a big factor in his happiness with the McLaren team - not being put under pressure during the difficult early times.

McLaren team principal, Andreas Seidl, has said that the Woking team were the “second strongest force” behind Mercedes at Monza.

McLaren are sat third in the Constructors’ Championship after Carlos Sainz’s podium finish and Lando Norris’ P4 put them on the verge of breaking the 100-point mark.

And while we were treated to a crazy, crazy race and a shock win for Pierre Gasly, Seidl thinks that irrespective of the circumstances, McLaren showed they were the next best team after Mercedes at the ‘Temple of Speed’.

“We go away from here with a lot of positives, because in the end today we scored some very important points for the constructors’ championship,” Seidl said.

“And I think the most important thing is that we actually had a very competitive car, and behind the Mercedes I think we can say we have been the second strongest force, which was great to see. And again, another great confirmation that we made a good step forward with the car in the winter.

“It’s clear to see that we also made big improvements on the team side.

“We obviously have again seen that we have two heroes of the sport in our car, two sensational drivers that did everything right at the start, at the restarts, and put in a sensational performance.”

Get your hands on the official McLaren 2020 collection via the Formula 1 store

Lando Norris
Lando Norris believes his racecraft is the area where he made the biggest improvement during a rock-solid 2020 campaign.

A lot of restructuring has gone on behind the scenes at McLaren in recent years to help them take some big steps forward. Seidl took the time to praise some of the key figures of the new operation.

He added: “It is great to see also how the race team here under the leadership of Andrea Stella, working together with James Key on the development side in order to keep pushing and steering the direction of the development.

“The guys back home under the leadership of Piers Thynne, and the production side. They give it all to make sure they deliver the parts as quickly as possible. Very happy, I have to say.”

Seidl is also encouraged by the fact that they seem to have picked up another Mercedes trait in being competitive at different circuits.

“I think we have seen in Spa already that the low downforce package was competitive,” Seidl said.

“But I think with the track here in Monza where you run even lower downforce, plus the combination of the corners here, the characteristics of the corners, I think it was hitting somehow the sweet spot of the car, where we could use a lot of strength that the car has.

“It’s encouraging to see that our car seems to be competitive in all kinds of circuits.

“We’re always able to get into Q3, we’re always able to fight with the cars around us, which is good, and gives us a lot of optimism also now going to Mugello and to the races afterwards.”

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