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McLaren "surprised" by Mercedes-Red Bull battles

McLaren "surprised" by Mercedes-Red Bull battles

F1 News

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McLaren "surprised" by Mercedes-Red Bull battles

McLaren "surprised" by Mercedes-Red Bull battles

McLaren racing director Andrea Stella has conceded the team was surprised to be able to contest so closely with Mercedes and Red Bull at times this season.

Lando Norris sits third in the drivers' standings ahead of Valtteri Bottas and Sergio Perez courtesy of a scoring streak that was only broken in Hungary.

At Imola and Austria, Norris had the pace to challenge for pole position and the podium positions on pure pace, only missing out on pole at the Red Bull Ring by 0.048secs to Max Verstappen.

“We were a bit surprised at some races to be able to compete so closely with Mercedes and Red Bull," said Stella.

"For example, the second race in Austria, we were genuinely very close to pole position and genuinely quick in the race.

“Even if in the race normally, Red Bull and Mercedes tend to open up the gap compared to the midfield, that is a trend that we have seen throughout the year.

“I think the reason is certainly from last year, we are happy with what we have been able to improve through the power unit. It has been important but we are not the only car running a HPP [Mercedes High Performance Powertrain] power unit.

"Aston Martin is running a HPP power unit as well so I think this is credit to the development of the chassis that McLaren has been able to achieve, in a way, some operational aspects and I would like to mention also the drivers."

Stella has previously described how the MCL35M has specific characteristics that aid performance at certain tracks and hinder at others.

“When we think about Austria, when we think about Imola, somehow we go back to the point I made before. I think our car it has very clear characteristics," he added.

“Some of these characteristics make it a very, very competitive car when the track has some special requirements. So we can see that [in] Austria there are six-seven corners, four of them are well above 200kmph. We know that our car is happy in this kind of demand.

“So yes, surprising, but I think there are some reasonable, technical explanations as to why we can be so close at some of the venues.”

What do you think?
Marti

Re: surprised to be able to contest so closely with Mercedes and Red Bull at times this season.

>What IS the surprise? Runnin the SAME engine/PU as Mercedes.

It is only LOGICAL

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Marti
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Aug 2021
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Marti

Re: surprised to be able to contest so closely with Mercedes and Red Bull at times this season.

>What IS the surprise? Runnin the SAME engine/PU as Mercedes.

It is only LOGICAL

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