Andreas Seidl doesn’t believe the picture between McLaren and Ferrari has changed dramatically in terms of car pace over the past few weeks, but says his team has missed recent opportunities to score.
Ferrari pulled over the 30 points clear of McLaren in the constructors’ championship with fifth and sixth in Brazil, while Lando Norris scored a solitary point after contact with Carlos Sainz on the opening lap. Seidl believes there was some misfortune given the light touch that caused a puncture – coupled with Daniel Ricciardo’s retirement for a power unit issue – but the McLaren team principal admits that consistency has been falling away.
“What we didn’t manage now in the recent weeks was simply score the points that were on the table for us,” Seidl said. “That’s obviously disappointing, but at the same time, there’s reasons why. We simply need to truly get back now to the last three races and try to do better. Unlucky (in Brazil), it was the second hit now in a row after Mexico for the battle in the constructors’ championship.
“So I think we need to be realistic to what is possible to achieve this year. At the same time, independent to the constructors’ championship, it’s simply important to make sure that in the last three races we get back to the positive momentum and we score the points that are on the table for us with the package we have.”
Seidl acknowledges it will need a dramatic reversal of fortunes for Ferrari in order to open the door to McLaren again in the fight for third, but he wants to see his team maximizing its own chances starting in Qatar this weekend.
“Look, clearly we have to face reality,” he said. “If everything goes well for Ferrari until the end of the season, it will be difficult. But at the same time, as long as it’s theoretically possible, we’ve seen several times this year and last year what can happen in race weekends.
“We will try to hang in there, but more important is simply to come back to scoring the results that are on the possible for us, because in the last two race weekends we didn’t have the strongest car in this battle we were in, but it was still possible to score good results. And this is what we didn’t manage, and that’s what we need to do better.
“Obviously, we had some weekends which played into the strength of our car, like in Austria or in Monza where I think we deserved to score those points, but especially in the first half of the season we managed to score a lot of points, where we were operationally strong as a team together with Lando and Daniel, where we had the upper hand in the battle. In terms of pace, I think the picture didn’t change that much on the race track over the course of the season.”