McLaren’s Andrea Stella has faith both of his drivers will keep their racing clean at the British Grand Prix.
Both of McLaren’s drivers start next to each other for Sunday’s British Grand Prix, with Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri lining up in second and third place – the duo having only just been beaten to top spot by Red Bull’s Max Verstappen.
It’s McLaren’s best qualifying result since the 2021 Italian Grand Prix, and seemingly indicates a huge step forward from the Woking-based team after introducing comprehensive updates to the MCL60.
Andrea Stella has faith in drivers keeping it clean
Appearing to speak with the media after his team’s great qualifying performance, Andrea Stella was asked whether Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri will be permitted to race each other or whether a plan of action will be put in place to co-ordinate an attack.
“They’ve already been next to each other on the grid and we have regular conversations before every single event, before the race,” he told media, including PlanetF1.com.
“It’s Lando and Oscar, they know exactly what to do in terms of fairness – it would be the same as with any other driver. What’s important is to see the chequered flag.
“We have had already some impact of racing incidents this year, if you think about Barcelona, it was pretty much decided for Lando at Turn 1.
“We had a situation in Austria during the Sprint, so we just want to aim at having a clean race, and exploit the potential that is available, and I’m sure the drivers want exactly the same.”
As for whether he has any concerns about the potential race pace of the McLaren, Stella moved to downplay expectations.
“While we have improved the car in terms of aerodynamic efficiency, we haven’t made yet large enough improvements in terms of elements that can improve the race pace, so I would still expect that there are cars around us that will be quicker in terms of race pace – Ferrari, and possibly Mercedes as well,” he said.
“We’ll also see how Aston Martin do, it will depend also, to some extent, on the conditions. Cold conditions should favour us for the same reasons, even in the race.”
How optimistic are Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri?
Following on from qualifying third in the Spanish Grand Prix, only for a first-lap clash to derail his race, Lando Norris is far more optimistic about having stronger race pace around Silverstone.
“We don’t talk about Barcelona anymore, OK!” he laughed as he spoke to media on Saturday night.
“I think if we look to Austria, Austria is a very different circuit to this.
“But in Austria, we performed extremely well in Qualifying and we managed to back it up a reasonable amount in the race. So I want to be hopeful.
“I’m not normally hopeful going into a Sunday, because of how this year has been and how things normally go or certain tracks come Sunday.
“But yeah, I’ve got some reasons to believe and some hope after our pace today, and how we were on Friday and some [of our] times, then we can have a good race tomorrow. Probably not enough to race this guy [Verstappen], but enough to put up a fight for, hopefully, a top five.”
Oscar Piastri, qualifying in the top three for the first time, outlined his goals for the Grand Prix.
“Firstly, stay in the points, that would be good,” he said.
“I think we’ll have to see what our race pace is like, you know.
“Lando showed last week that we can hang on in the races now to a much better extent. So hopefully we can try and do the same tomorrow. Of course, staying in the top three will be tricky with quite a few quick cars behind us. But definitely, a solid points score can be on the cards.”