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McLaren highlight 'dialogue and teamwork' as key to avoiding Bottas-type issue

McLaren highlight 'dialogue and teamwork' as key to avoiding Bottas-type issue

F1 News

McLaren highlight 'dialogue and teamwork' as key to avoiding Bottas-type issue

McLaren highlight 'dialogue and teamwork' as key to avoiding Bottas-type issue

McLaren team principal Andreas Seidl has highlighted "dialogue" and "teamwork" as being instrumental in avoiding the type of scenario that unfolded between Mercedes and Valtteri Bottas during the French Grand Prix.

Bottas was left fuming with Mercedes for ignoring his calls to switch to a two-stop strategy as he dropped from second to fourth at the Paul Ricard Circuit where he felt he could even have won the race if the team had heeded his remarks.

Due to the information and modelling tools at a team's disposal, a driver's demands are often ignored given the lack of intelligence about a race they have at their disposal inside the cockpit. In France, Bottas was proven correct.

Asked as to how much of a say Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo have when it comes to the strategy calls during a race, Seidl said: “I would say it is clearly teamwork.

"You need feedback from the drivers to double-check if all the assumptions the strategy team is doing is matching what the driver is feeling as well inside the car.

“It is a dialogue, it is teamwork. That is it, and from the drivers, it is important to get feedback from them.

"That is why we regularly ask them about the state of the tyres, about what they think.

"For example, if the safety car comes out, can they restart the tyres or not because that is something where you need the input from the drivers.

"At the same time, I guess the drivers also trust us a lot that with us obviously having the big picture the driver cannot always have, that we make the right decisions.

“It is also clear that you do not always get it right as a team, on the driver’s side or on the team’s side, and it is important to learn from it and get better next time.”

McLaren facing see-saw battle with Ferrari

Following fine performances from Norris and Ricciardo in finishing fifth and sixth, McLaren has now opened up a 16-point cushion over Ferrari in the fight for third this year after the Scuderia surprisingly failed to score in France.

Seidl, though, believes it is still "early in the season" to make a call as to how the battle will unfold, even though Ferrari took a stride backwards at the weekend.

"We have seen in previous races how quick it can go when you have a weekend where you struggle to score any points for various reasons or you suddenly make big points because you grab an opportunity," assessed Seidl.

“We have seen a trend at a lot of races this year that we have a stronger race car than a qualifying car at the moment and that some others struggle on Sundays, but you never know who has found what from one weekend to the next.

“It is simply important, as we always do, to focus on ourselves, try to extract the maximum we have from the package on Saturdays and Sundays, together with our drivers.

"Then we are hopefully in a good position to keep this battle up against a very strong Ferrari team.”

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