McLaren boss ‘not too worried’ about upgrades being introduced over Sprint weekend

McLaren team principal Andrea Stella is admittedly not too worried about the introduction of MCL60 upgrades on the first Sprint race weekend of the season at the 2023 F1 Azerbaijan GP.

Baku will host one of six Sprint races this season at the end of April, meaning F1 will have to cut a practice session from the weekend itinerary to accommodate all the weekend action.

McLaren’s hesitant start to the season came as no surprise. The team acknowledged that the car they had pitched and used for the first three rounds had been sub-optimal compared to their rivals.

As the race in Baku approaches, Stella does not hesitate to introduce improvements. In an interview quoted by F1 journalist Chris Medland, the Italian said:

“If there are no abnormal behaviors then it’s relatively easy because in modern Formula 1 you have the data and you can read the aerodynamic performance through the forces you measure and through the map. of pressure around the car that you measure to dozens of pressure sensors.”

Stella added:

“So we’re not too worried about assessing whether it’s possible or not, unless there are anomalies. But so far I have to say the cars are proving to be correlated well with the development. C That’s why we decided to introduce it, even though it’s a sprint race.

‘We hope we’ll be in the running’: Baku upgrade won’t be a game-changer for McLaren, says Andrea Stella

Andrea Stella, McLaren team principal, hopes his team may be in contention to fight for points after introducing the aforementioned upgrade to the MCL60.

After two dismal races in the Middle East, the McLaren drivers Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri both managed to finish in the points at the 2023 Australian F1 GP, albeit with a bit of luck for them.

Despite opening their account for the campaign, Stella doesn’t want her team to take it for granted. Asked about the team’s situation after the race at Albert Park, the Italian said:

“We don’t get carried away – we know it was a very eventful race. It’s good to score points after having had some tough races at the start of the season where we were in contention to score points but for various reasons we couldn’t. It’s good now to come out of these races with good points.”

He then spoke about the car’s planned upgrade, admitting it won’t be a game-changer for McLaren but a step in the right direction in terms of development.

Stella added:

“We know that in Baku we are starting another stage of this season by starting to have some improvements on the car. We know it won’t be a game changer but it will be a first step for what we hope will be multiple We hope we will be in contention to fight for points in the future on merit.

McLaren hopes that and their recent technical restructuring can help them re-challenge in midfield and have an outside chance to be the best of the rest, something they’ve found difficult with gradual slips in the standings in recent seasons.

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Edited by Rachel Syiemlieh

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