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McLaren hope to understand rivals after Imola

McLaren hope to understand rivals after Imola

F1 News

McLaren hope to understand rivals after Imola

McLaren hope to understand rivals after Imola

McLaren team principal Andreas Seidl hopes the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix will reveal a "trend" that will make clear which teams provide a direct threat to his outfit this year.

McLaren battled to third place in the constructors' championship last year, coming out on top in a 'fight for third' against Racing Point and Renault - the teams now Aston Martin and Alpine.

Across winter testing and the opening race of the year, both of which were held in Bahrain, McLaren appeared to once again be the midfield team to beat with Seidl confident enough to say his team had the "third-best car".

With Lando Norris finishing the season-opener fourth and Daniel Ricciardo, on debut for the team, seventh, McLaren left Bahrain third in the standings with a six-point gap to Ferrari.

Asked to assess McLaren's position in the table, Seidl said: "I think we simply have to wait for more tracks with different characteristics and conditions, different tyre choices, to see if there is a trend.

“I think what is also clear is that all the cars around us that we were battling with had made great steps forward compared to last year and the battle is again within a few tenths.

"This also means you can quickly swing by the strengths or weaknesses of the other car depending on some characteristics of the tracks or ambient conditions."

McLaren was the only team to change power unit provider over the winter, changing from Renault to Mercedes, and Seidl was impressed by the speed at which the unit had been integrated into the MCL35M.

He added: “We are still a very young partnership obviously and it is also clear that we learned in Bahrain several things which we will benefit from when we go into these next race weekends.

"It was the first time that we had to work together and deliver under the pressure of a race weekend, the first time we went through a qualifying session, the first time we went through a race under pressure.

“But everything I can see at the moment went really well. Great teamwork between our colleagues from Mercedes and our team, great teamwork also together with both drivers and I’m very happy with that.”

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