McLaren’s progress so far this season is not reflected in its points total compared to 2018, according to sporting director Gil de Ferran.
Last season, McLaren started strongly with double points in three of the first four races. By the end of the fifth round in Spain, the team had 40 points, but would add just 22 to that tally in the remainder of the season. With only a sixth place for Lando Norris currently to McLaren’s name this season, de Ferran says the total of eight points does not show the lessons learned and gains made from 12 months ago.
“I think there has (been progress),” de Ferran (pictured with McLaren’s Carlos Sainz Jr.) said. “I think working with everyone day in and day out it feels like it has. Obviously we are not fighting for wins at this point, but I think we have evolved a lot in our understanding of what we need to do and what we need from a Formula 1 car. This car feels like it’s a little bit of a step forward relative to last year.
“But we’re certainly under no illusions. We still know there is a lot of work ahead of us. I’ve been saying that throughout winter testing and the first few races, and that mindset hasn’t changed. There’s still a long road ahead of us.”
With Renault’s works team the only other car to run the same power unit as McLaren, de Ferran dismisses suggestions that McLaren’s first objective must be to get ahead of its power unit supplier.
“I don’t look at it that way. I think Renault has done a great job for us this year as a power unit partner, they definitely made a step forward and delivered us a more competitive power unit. I think our objective is just to keep moving up, regardless of who is ahead.
“I even cast my mind back to when I was a driver, and some people like to focus on one enemy. I don’t think that way. We as a group can only control what we do — that’s what we need to stay focused on and continue to move forward. Frankly, no rest until we are P1 and P2.”