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McLaren chief warns of 'false expectations' ahead of crucial F1 season

McLaren chief warns of 'false expectations' ahead of crucial F1 season

McLaren chief warns of 'false expectations' ahead of crucial F1 season

McLaren chief warns of 'false expectations' ahead of crucial F1 season

McLaren's team principal Andrea Stella is keen to guide his outfit through the delicate balance of ambition and realism as they set their sights on narrowing the gap to Red Bull in the upcoming season.

The team, based in Woking, faced early-season struggles in the previous campaign, but a strategic upgrade package unveiled in Austria during July sparked a remarkable turnaround.

The resurgence bore fruit, with standout performances such as Lando Norris securing seven podium finishes and rookie sensation Oscar Piastri claiming a memorable victory in the sprint race in Qatar.

McLaren ultimately clinched a commendable fourth place in the constructors' championship, outpacing early frontrunners Aston Martin.

Yet, as the curtain lifts on the 2024 campaign, Stella is keenly aware of the need to anchor expectations. This cautionary approach is particularly pertinent given the formidable dominance displayed by Red Bull throughout the preceding year.

McLaren boss Andrea Stella is urging a realistic approach to 2024
Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri will be hoping to begin 2024 how they finished 2023

McLaren hopeful of competition in 2024

“Our philosophy is to be very fair to what we know,” he said. “We don’t have to create false expectations because the reality will come to you in a violent way, and we don’t want to find ourselves in that position.

“At the same time, we don’t want to downplay too much and then find out we weren’t ready to fight at the front, and we didn’t make good decisions based on that.

“We will just stick to the data, be realistic and be honest. That is our philosophy.

“You like to see what kind of progress you are making in the wind tunnel, in the computer simulations, and you know that a certain rate will mean you are two-tenths, half-a-second, seven-tenths better at the start of a season.

“Realistically, we know that if we want to retain our competitiveness going into next season, you need to have half a second in hand, otherwise, you are moving backwards.”

READ MORE: McLaren star set for 'telling year' despite impressive 2023 season

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