The start of the McLaren-Mercedes partnership is off to a good start, but the British team is confident that more can still be done to improve the performance of the MCL35M.
McLaren expected a difficult 2021 season as a result of development constraints and the switch to Mercedes engine. However, the MCL35M has proven to be even more competitive than its predecessor.
Although the Woking-based line-up has yet to catch up with Mercedes and Red Bull, it continues to reduce the disadvantage and in Bahrain added a creditable fourth and seventh places in charge of Lando norris and Daniel Ricciardo (who suffered a blow from behind on the first lap that reduced downforce).
“McLaren is not miles behind the head like last season”
So things, Mclaren The season starts as a clear favorite to revalidate third place in the constructors’ championship, with Ferrari and AlphaTauri surely as the main opponents.
McLaren is not miles behind compared to last season. We have closed the gap quite a bit and hopefully on some tracks we can close it even more », Lando Norris has pointed out in relation to the disadvantage with the leading teams.
There is potential to be exploited
But, equally, Norris believes that there is still room for improvement in the McLaren MCL35M.
It’s hard to say if we are easily the best of the rest. But we are happy, the car is good, it showed a lot of strengths, some weaknesses and things that we clearly have to work on. Also with regard to the engine, “he advances.
And that’s not easy, but it’s free lap time and things that make our lives as drivers a lot easier. We can do even better. We have a little work to do on Saturdays, probably more than Sundays »admits the British.
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Andreas Seidl He is satisfied with the start with Mercedes, especially considering that they have only completed one Grand Prix together.
“We are still a very young association. It was the first time we had to perform under the pressure of a race weekend. The first time we went through a qualifying session, the first time we went through a race under pressure. But everything I can see at the moment turned out very well, a great teamwork with our colleagues from Mercedes », concluded the McLaren director.