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McLaren must "consolidate" early season pace at Imola

McLaren must "consolidate" early season pace at Imola

F1 News

McLaren must "consolidate" early season pace at Imola

McLaren must "consolidate" early season pace at Imola

McLaren team principal Andreas Seidl has said the team must consolidate the pace shown across Formula 1 pre-season testing and the Bahrain Grand Prix at Imola this weekend.

At the Bahrain season-opener, Lando Norris finished fourth with team-mate Daniel Ricciardo seventh in his first race for the Woking-based team.

Last year, McLaren ended the season third in the constructors' championship, the team's best placing since 2012, and after leaving Bahrain Seidl stated his belief McLaren has the "third-best car" this year.

“We head to Imola this week after making a strong start to the season in the opening race, but it’s crucial we stay focused and consolidate it," said the German.

"The team and our Mercedes colleagues are working hard as always to optimise our package and give us the best chance to fight for good points this weekend. At the same time, we continue to concentrate on our reliability and operational effectiveness to deliver to our full potential.

“It’s clear that several of our competitors have taken a step forward, although it’s difficult to be certain of the true running order from one race. This will only become clearer as the season progresses, with different conditions at circuits with different characteristics."

Due to the congested nature of the 2020 season, last year's Emilia Romagna Grand Prix was used to trial an alternate two-day weekend format as opposed to the regular three days.

With overtaking often at a premium at Imola, Seidl echoed Norris in labelling qualifying as being crucial to a strong weekend.

He added: “We’re looking forward to racing at Imola for a second consecutive season, this time with three full days of running that will allow us to optimise the set-up. Imola poses a fresh challenge from the previous race, with different cornering profiles and a narrower track layout.

"There are fewer overtaking possibilities than at Bahrain, which increases the importance of track position and our performance on Saturday. On Sunday we’ll need to be ready for an exciting race which will pose a number of opportunities and challenges, just as we saw last year. We’re looking forward to another thrilling weekend of Formula 1.”

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