(Motorsport-Total.com) – The Russian Grand Prix was a major setback for McLaren in the battle for third place in the constructors’ championship. Although the team still holds this current, the competition has moved up significantly due to the zero number in Sochi. Racing Point was able to make up twelve points and is only two points behind, Renault was even able to make up 16 points and is seven points behind.
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For team boss Andreas Seidl these are also the two realistic opponents in the fight for third place, and if you want to keep it, you have to improve a little. Because the MCL35 is not the best car among this trio for the German. “The Racing Point is clearly the fastest car in this fight,” he says.
At the same time, it is clear to him that Renault has caught up a lot in recent races. The French were able to score double-digit points in the last four races, McLaren only managed that in the chaos race in Monza during the same period.
“Now it is up to us to make sure that we also make progress with our car and find the next step in pace to keep the fight going,” says Seidl, who wants to calmly analyze the events in Sochi.
McLaren accelerates with updates
There has been no shortage of updates for the car recently. The new underbody that was tested in Spa is more likely for the coming year, but Lando Norris was on the road with a new nose concept in Sochi. However, it is difficult to assess this after the starting lap and the damage suffered in connection with the accident of team-mate Carlos Sainz.
McLaren pushes the tube when it comes to updates. They really wanted to test updates before the development deadline expires after the Russian Grand Prix. The team boss emphasizes that the new nose concept is definitely going in the right direction. “That gives us more potential to get performance out of the car,” he is convinced.
Above all, one would like to get the MCL35 out of the way of being susceptible to wind, which has repeatedly annoyed the team. However, the problem is easier to spot than to fix, says Seidl, and sees this as the decisive factor for the upcoming race at the Nürburgring.
Wind problem “I don’t want to accept”
Almost everyone expects cold weather when it comes to the Eifel in October. “But for us, the wind has more of an influence on the car than the temperatures.” Anyway, the challenge is the same for everyone, says Seidl. “In the end it all depends on the choice of tires and how the tires work. You just have to hit the car’s sweet spot.”
But the wind will also keep the team busy beyond that. “I definitely don’t want to accept that,” emphasizes Seidl and says that this subject is high on the list of priorities for technical director James Key.
However, this is still a topic for the future; third place only has to be secured this year. To do this, they want to go back to their strengths against Racing Point. You can’t keep up with the car, but so far you have implemented your options pretty well.
“Thanks to great performances by our drivers and a great execution by our racing team, we were also able to get good points with the fourth or fifth fastest car,” said Seidl. “That gave us the 106 points that we currently have. But that’s why we’re not taking off. We know that we have to develop the car in order to get closer and keep the fight going.”