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McLaren - "Still quite a bit missing" from charge against Mercedes and Red Bull

McLaren - "Still quite a bit missing" from charge against Mercedes and Red Bull

McLaren - "Still quite a bit missing" from charge against Mercedes and Red Bull

McLaren - "Still quite a bit missing" from charge against Mercedes and Red Bull
Sam Hall & Ewan Gale

McLaren team principal Andreas Seidl has conceded there is "still quite a bit missing" in the hunt to join Red Bull and Mercedes at the top of F1 despite vastly improved form.

Lando Norris was on course to take a maiden grand prix win after controlling the Russian Grand Prix before rainfall and a decision to stay on slicks thwarted his race.

His pole position in addition to the one-two collected by the team at Monza suggests McLaren are moving onto bigger things but Seidl has insisted the team must remain realistic.

“We just need to look at the facts," said Seidl.

"When we see the lap time gap we have on average over the course of the season in qualifying and in the races compared to Mercedes and Red Bull, there is still quite a bit missing.

“But the good thing for me is that if I compare it with the year before, we have nearly halved that gap and it just shows that we are heading in the right direction, that the team is doing a sensational job back home on the developments side and that also out here as a team together with our drivers, we actually manage most races to put the package we have in the right window and then pull it off during the race weekends.

“So that is very pleasing for me to see and that is also what I like about Lando’s pole position because it just shows that when the opportunities are there, we are already in a position as a team to use these opportunities and to pull it off under the pressure as well.

McLaren competitiveness 'track dependent'

The recent two races follow Norris' impressive qualifying outing in Austria where he missed out on pole to Max Verstappen by less than a tenth of a second.

With the up and down nature of form this season with the team struggling at venues like Zandvoort, Seidl pointed to the influence of track characteristics on competitiveness.

Seidl explained: “In terms of the gap to especially Mercedes and Red Bull, also there, the good thing is that compared to previous years and depending on the track characteristics as well and the ambient conditions, from time to time we are already in a position to fight for a pole position like we saw in Imola and Austria or Monza and Sochi.”

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