McLaren: Two fast drivers ‘key’ to F1 resurgence

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After a tough patch, McLaren labored its means again up the grid underneath group boss Seidl and technical director James Key. Drivers Lando Norris and Carlos Sainz proved to be a aggressive pairing, finally handing McLaren third place within the 2020 championship.

With Sainz leaving McLaren to affix Ferrari, the Woking group moved shortly to snap up Ricciardo from Renault as his substitute for 2021.

Ricciardo and Norris had been intently matched within the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix, beginning sixth and seventh on the grid respectively, earlier than grabbing a mixed 18 factors for the group on Sunday, which meant McLaren vaulted again as much as third within the constructors’ championship.

Seidl defined it was key to McLaren’s resurgence – and its combat towards groups with intrinsically faster automobiles – to have two drivers able to preventing on the entrance of F1’s stacked midfield to safe a constant haul of factors. It’s also the rationale why the group took on Ricciardo.

“As you possibly can think about it was clearly essential for me that once we made the choice to go for Daniel that we merely made positive for the group that now we have once more additionally from this yr onwards, a really robust driver line-up,” Seidl defined after Bahrain qualifying.

“As a result of key within the final two years for securing these positions we may safe within the constructors’ championship was that we at all times had two drivers who had been there and at all times prepared to attain good factors.

“I am actually pleased with what now we have seen so removed from each guys. It is nice that we once more appear to have a really robust driver line-up. We managed to get by way of each automobiles [in] Q3, each guys at all times very shut collectively.”

Daniel Ricciardo, McLaren

Picture by: Glenn Dunbar / Motorsport Photographs

Throughout the Bahrain race Ricciardo dropped from sixth to seventh with a broken ground after being struck by AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly on the opening lap.

Norris climbed from seventh to fourth in considered one of his greatest F1 drives to date, which in keeping with Seidl was proof that the younger Briton “has made the following step” as a driver.

Commenting on the efficiency of his group after F1’s season-opener, Seidl added that he was “very pleased with what the group pulled off this weekend, as a result of I believe once more the onerous work everybody has put in over winter was paying off.”

Seidl was significantly inspired to see Ricciardo and Norris get to inside 9 tenths of Max Verstappen’s pole time, a margin three tenths smaller than the group managed in qualifying for the 2020 race.

“The hole we needed to pole place was smaller in comparison with what we may do final time now we have been right here in Bahrain, which is once more an encouraging signal that we’re making a step as a group with the automotive in the direction of the entrance and that we’re on target,” Seidl mentioned.

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