McLaren F1 “need to deliver another package” like Miami to “consistently fight Red Bull” — Stella

Photo Credit: McLaren Racing
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Miami made McLaren feel like they were on top of the world. After winning with Lando Norris, to quote a famous Floridian, they were having the time of their lives.

However, Team Principal Andrea Stella admitted that Norris’ victory should not be seen as a change in the pecking order when he spoke post-race.

Red Bull had dominated with Verstappen in Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Japan and China. The Milton Keynes-based squad struggled throughout the Miami weekend to get the balance in the right window, opening the door for Norris and McLaren to take full advantage of it.

Although McLaren’s upgraded car was impressively fast in the race, Stella is keeping expectations in check.

“Yes, we improved the car. We know in the numbers how much we improved it and its material, you should see it in lap time,” Stella said.

“But for Red Bull, this race was a little bit of a struggle. Is the pace we saw a representation of the future? I’m not going to put my signature on this statement.

“In Japan, we were six-tenths away in qualifying off Red Bull. In China again we were a few tenths away, so it would be completely unrealistic to think that what we have seen here is the updated picture of competitiveness. 

“I think here Red Bull didn’t get the most out of their package.”

This weekend’s Imola GP should give everyone further ideas on whether McLaren and Ferrari can start to consistently challenge Red Bull Racing as the season goes on.

For Stella, he thinks another sizeable update will be required to fight and beat Verstappen on a regular basis. Nonetheless, the Miami victory should give the team even more motivation to get updates on the car as soon as possible.

“We take this positive, we take this encouragement,” he added. “If anything it’s even more energy to develop possibly even faster than what we are doing.

“But in my view, if you want to fight consistently Red Bull, we need to deliver another package like the one we have delivered here.”