McLaren’s chances of winning the battle for third place in the constructors’ championship are strengthened by the “outstanding” performances of its drivers, according to team principal Andreas Seidl.
Lando Norris and Carlos Sainz each have a podium finish to their name this season and currently sit seventh and eighth respectively in the drivers’ championship, just four points apart. That is in contrast to Racing Point and Renault, who each have a driver ahead of the McLaren pair but much bigger gaps, with 25 points between Sergio Perez and Lance Stroll, and 55 points between Daniel Ricciardo and Esteban Ocon.
“One big asset that we have in the team is having two strong drivers that always manage to pull it off,” Seidl said. “We have a great record of getting both cars through into qualifying three at most of the races, and also in terms of what these guys do on Sunday in the race is outstanding, in terms of bringing the results that are on the table back home. It’s definitely a big asset in this battle for P3.”
Although McLaren has been overhauled by Renault in the standings — sitting one point adrift of the French constructor and level with Racing Point with four races remaining — Seidl is happy with the upgrades that have been brought to the car in recent weeks, and is not letting the close fight overshadow the bigger picture of the team’s overall progress.
“We know we still have a lot to improve as a team in all areas, and one thing that is obvious is clearly the performance of the car, which is something we work hard on as a team — together between the race team and the development team. That’s what we are focusing on. If you compare this year’s car with last year’s car, we made a great step forward.
“The way we work together as a team is encouraging for me too. It also makes me optimistic looking ahead that we can make the next steps, but we should not forget that the competitors we have are strong and we simply need more time to make the next steps as a team.”