McLaren Team Principal, Andreas Seidl has iterated the importance of continuing “to stay focused” as the team seek to bounce back after slipping 13 points behind Ferrari in the Constructors’ standings.
A difficult Mexico City Grand Prix saw Lando Norris recover from 18th on the grid following a power unit change to snatch the final point in tenth, ahead of Daniel Ricciardo who finished 12th after getting caught up in two separate first lap incidents.
McLaren’s misfortunes consequently saw Ferrari outscore them by 17 points to move above their rivals into third in the Constructors’ standings with four races left heading into this weekend’s Sao Paulo Grand Prix at Interlagos, Brazil.
Seidl though believes that heading to Brazil for the second race of this triple-header represents a “chance to bounce straight back from our result in Mexico.”
The 45 year-old German also warned that focus will be key as he said; “However, it’s important we continue to stay focused during this intense triple-header and deliver to the best of our abilities to score good points.
Despite claiming a third-placed finish on their last visit to Interlagos in 2019 which marked their first F1 podium since 2014, Seidl believes that the team are still in for a fight this weekend.
“The circuit is not without its challenges with a high altitude similar to Mexico, constant elevation changes and unpredictable weather that will make things interesting.” warned Seidl as rain is forecast for Friday’s FP1 and regular Qualifying.
This weekend will also see the return of Sprint Qualifying on Saturday for the third and final time in 2021 ahead of a planned extensive introduction next season, which is something that has benefitted McLaren who gained 67 points across British and Italian GP weekends featuring this format this season.
Seidl is therefore excited to see how McLaren fares this weekend as he explained; “The new format has provided excitement on the track for the fans while presenting teams with more opportunities from the very start of the weekend.
“The aim will be to find a good level of consistency with both cars from the first session to achieve the best result possible.”
Ricciardo echoed Seidl’s thoughts as he vowed to head into the Sao Paulo GP as he described the new format as “kind” for the team this season and vowed to carry “positivity” into the weekend after enduring a “disappointing” Mexico City Grand Prix.
Reflecting on his race performance last weekend in Mexico, Ricciardo said; “I didn’t take home any points in Mexico, but the outcome could’ve been very different if we’d just had a few more centimetres, which proves we have the car to fight for good positions and decent points.”
Norris meanwhile is keen to put his lessons from last weekend into action around Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace this weekend, as he commented; “Hopefully we can take our learnings from Mexico into this weekend and improve as a team. We’ve got four more races left on the calendar so every session counts.
“Sprint qualifying has shown that there are plenty of opportunities to make good progress across the weekend. We need to keep our heads down and hit the ground running on Friday.”