Stella hails McLaren: Podium “would not have been possible with the old package” at F1 Singapore GP

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Photo Credit: McLaren Media

At the end of the Singapore GP speaking to written media outlets, Andrea Stella analyed his team’s excellent day, talking about Lando Norris’ podium, before moving on to comment on the developments introduced which have allowed the MCL60 to progress significantly. Effective developments thanks to the in-depth work that the team is carrying out on development tools and which, after intense months, is bearing fruit and repaying the team for their efforts.

For McLaren, the weekend in Singapore proved to be positive and, objectively, encouraging, after relatively tough results at Spa, Zandvoort and Monza. In fact, after a series of missteps, sometimes due to unfavorable tracks and others due to errors, the Woking-based team has regained the status seen shown at the beginning of the summer, given that at Marina Bay the MCL60 was able to return to the podium on merit.

At the end of the race, in which Carlos Sainz’s Ferrari prevailed, McLaren finished in second place with Lando Norris, capable of making the most of the car, not making mistakes and taking advantage of all situations to his advantage, from the Mercedes pit stop up to the DRS offered by Sainz, and taking full advantage of Leclerc’s slow pit stop.

Stella spoke about the result achieved by his team in the Asian city, explaining how this result would not have been attainable with Norris if they were still using the older package before this weekend.

“When talking about this result we should talk about the competitiveness of the car. We finished P2 due to some race situations but we could also have finished P4. The important thing is that we fought with the most competitive cars, which would not have been possible with the old package.

“What is important is that we could compete with the best cars in Singapore, which I think with the old package would not have been possible.”

The former Ferrari engineer underlined how Norris’ podium was possible thanks to the developments introduced on the MCL60 (not present, for logistical reasons, on Piastri’s car). The performance corresponds to what they’re seeing in the development tools, an aspect on which the papaya team has been working hard in recent months.

“We do measure the improvement from a aerodynamic point from view. The most encouraging thing is the improvements correlate with what is expected from the development tools.”

Work on development tools is fundamental in modern F1 without regularly testing on tracks and the factor of the budget cap, as it is necessary to make the tools effective and capable of allowing the production of functioning parts, maximising results and eliminating waste of time, effort and resources.

“You can imagine that now, it’s September. We are working on the development tools, and you work on development tools for 5-6 months.

“You need to be able to trust what you’re doing, otherwise you deliver the car and the car does something else, and you have wasted so much effort.

“That’s why you hear engineers being so focused on ‘correlates with expectation’.”

Correlation which in McLaren, after months of work, has been greatly improved compared to years gone by. A step which, by Stella’s admission, repays everyone for the work done and gives the staff great motivation to push the accelerator even further in the development of the car and into 2024.

“It’s important the step from a competitiveness point of view. It’s important the correlation.

“I think it’s also important for everyone at McLaren in terms of getting more and more aware that the work we are doing seems to be paying off, and the efforts have a capitalisation.

“It’s not wasted efforts, which I think in turn will generate even more energy, motivation and determination.

“Ultimately if we could deliver one package here in Singapore, it’s because there was long days and nights at work, and a very complex logistical plan. The effort is considerable. It’s important we see that this delivers.

“I am just so happy for the team, for the people. We come from difficult times, and when you can enjoy these sort of results, it’s such a relief and such a joy.”