McLaren Racing Team Principal Andreas Seidl has said that his team must not get complacent after a strong start to their 2021 Formula 1 campaign.
Thanks predominantly to Lando Norris, McLaren has already racked up 53 points this season, with Norris backing up his podium finish at Imola with a strong fifth place at Portimao last weekend, while Daniel Ricciardo made it a double points finish crossing the line in ninth.
The pace shown the Woking-based squad so far this year proves that they have maintained momentum from last season, although two out of the first three races of the season have been on circuits not used very often by F1.
And while Seidl is pleased with the team’s performances so far, he is also mindful that the pecking order could change now the championship is heading to more traditional circuits and has urged his colleagues not to rest on their laurels.
“After a great recovery from a tricky Saturday in Portimão, we head into the Spanish Grand Prix aiming to have a slightly smoother weekend.” commented Seidl.
“Any double-header comes with logistical challenges, and the team at both the factory and the track have done an excellent job making sure we’re well prepared to go racing again so soon after Portugal.
“As always, qualifying is an important part of the weekend, but particularly so at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, where overtaking can be difficult.
“We’ve made a strong start to the season but we know we mustn’t get complacent, especially when we see how close the competition is.”
The return to the more familiar Barcelona circuit should also assist Ricciardo further as he battles to get to grips with the McLaren.
Although he finished ninth last time out, he admitted that he is still getting used to the car and is having to adapt his driving style to extract the maximum from it, although Seidl is happy that the Australian is showing signs of progress.
“Daniel is really starting to show his confidence in the car, with last Sunday’s battle back into the points proving the progress he’s making,” he added.
“We’re looking forward to seeing what he can do when he’s totally comfortable.”
Ricciardo also reiterated his boss’ comments, adding that knowing the track so well should mean he has less to to worry about in the car.
“I’m really looking forward to getting back on track in Spain. Having been to two unique circuits in Imola and Portimão, it’ll be good to get some laps in on a circuit I know really well.” said the seven time grand prix winner.
“All the teams do so much testing at Barcelona, so we pretty much know what to expect right out of the box.
“Having so much familiarity with the circuit and the high levels of grip should mean I can really push the car and not have too many other factors to worry about.
“I’m feeling more and more comfortable with every race distance, so I’m really excited to see what we can do in the next few races.”