McLaren misplaced the third place within the constructors’ championship they’ve held since Abu Dhabi final 12 months to Ferrari following the Azerbaijan Grand Prix. However provided that their rivals in crimson had had one automotive on pole place and one other in P5 on the race begin – because the McLarens lined up P9 and P13 – workforce boss Andreas Seidl stated he couldn’t be too upset along with his squad’s Baku efficiency.
McLaren’s automobiles had been expected to go well on the power-sensitive Baku Metropolis Circuit. However a disappointing qualifying noticed Daniel Ricciardo crash in Q2, as Lando Norris made it to Q3 and claimed sixth on the grid – just for a red flag infringement to see him dropped three locations to ninth. Over at Ferrari, in contrast, Charles Leclerc took his second consecutive pole place, as Carlos Sainz wound up P5 on the grid.
However with Norris then overcoming a nasty begin to come home P5, and proper on the tail of Leclerc, as Ricciardo took P9 behind Sainz, Seidl stated he was glad not to have been outscored by greater than the 4 factors that Ferrari took over McLaren in Baku – even when it had given the Scuderia P3 in the constructors’.
“In the event you begin P9 and P13 and are after the primary corners P12 and P13, then ending P5 and P9 – only one place behind every [of] the Ferraris – it’s clearly harm limitation,” stated Seidl after the race. “In the long run, we’d like to end increased up on Saturday, then our Sundays are lots simpler as a result of I feel we had the tempo right now [to run] additional up the entrance.
“However as quickly as you have been within the prepare right now, there’s not lots you are able to do,” Seidl added. “Once more, a superb job from each drivers and the workforce to hold their head calm in a difficult race. So, we’re fairly blissful that we solely misplaced 4 factors to Ferrari right now, which was a superb final result after a disappointing Saturday.”
The Azerbaijan Grand Prix’s crimson flag stoppage – attributable to Max Verstappen’s crash on the pit straight – arrange a thrilling two lap finale, with Norris climbing from seventh on the standing begin grid to end fifth. However given Norris’ robust restoration earlier than the race was crimson flagged – as Leclerc had conversely fallen down the order – Seidl instructed that McLaren might have been able to rating much more factors had the race run its course, reasonably than being stopped…
“I feel if it might have been a traditional race, it’s clear that Mercedes and Purple Bull have been gone,” stated Seidl. “However I feel if it might have been a flat-out race, it may have been very attention-grabbing with the tyre degradation of the Ferraris.
“So tough to say what would have been potential in a traditional race and in addition tough to say what would have occurred if we’d have completed yesterday in quali the place we must always have been, by way of automotive efficiency. However ultimately, it doesn’t depend; we’d like to get it collectively on Saturday and on Sunday and that’s what you’ve to work for. Then you definately get the outcomes you deserve as a workforce and that’s our focus.”
Seidl, in the meantime, refused to speculate on how McLaren would possibly fare in opposition to Ferrari when F1 returns to the extra ‘regular’ confines of the Circuit Paul Ricard for the French Grand Prix on June 18-20. However he did reveal his pleasure at McLaren having as soon as once more moved nearer to the tempo of Mercedes and Purple Bull in Baku – with Seidl aiming for extra fights with these prime two groups within the close to future.
“It’s tough to draw any conclusions from earlier races of the season by way of the pecking order on particular tracks,” stated Seidl, when requested if he felt McLaren can be extra on the tempo of Ferrari at Paul Ricard.
“So I merely suppose it’s tough to say. Basically, what was constructive once more, ignoring our remaining positions in qualifying yesterday, is that we undoubtedly obtained lots nearer to the Mercedes and Purple Bulls in entrance of us by way of tempo, which is encouraging.
“These are the steps we’ve to make as a workforce,” he concluded. “We now have to make these steps to combat these groups once more sooner or later.”
McLaren now sit two factors adrift of Ferrari within the constructors’ standings, with the Scuderia now the very best place they’ve been within the championship since final 12 months’s seventieth Anniversary Grand Prix.