McLaren’s reduced gap to Mercedes “encouraging” for Seidl


In the round-up: McLaren team principal Andreas Seidl is pleased by how much closer McLaren were to Mercedes in the first race of the new season.

In brief

Seidl encouraged by Bahrain performance

Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo finished fourth and sixth respectively in Bahrain, the lead McLaren tacking the flag 46 seconds after race-winner Lewis Hamilton. Seidl said he was “very happy” with the team’s first race since its switch to Mercedes power.

“The hard work everyone has put in over the winter was paying off,” he said. “It was great to see also in terms of the gap, for example, to Lewis, was only I think around 45 seconds in a race where these guys were proper flat-out. It’s an encouraging sign because it confirms again we made a good step forward with the car and as a team, which is, as I always say, key to get back to the front in some years again and fight for victories.”

However Seidl acknowledged the team faces tougher competition from a reinvigorated Ferrari and, potentially, the Honda-powered AlphaTauris.

“A lot of our competitors made some good steps forwards as well. So it was the expected close battle with Ferrari. AlphaTauri are difficult to judge after Pierre [Gasly] had the issue at the beginning.

“But I’m really happy how our team and drivers pulled it off and obviously it’s the best possible start we could have had to this new season. And thank you also to our colleagues from Mercedes, they worked so hard over the winter together with us in order to make sure we are ready for the first race and now we have the first race together with this new partnership under under the belt and it just feels good.”

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On this day in F1

Badoer thankfully clambered unhurt from his Forti today in 1996 at Buenos Aires
  • 25 years ago today Damon Hill continued his perfect start to the season by winning in Buenos Aires. Meanwhile Pedro Diniz was fortunate to escape injury when fuel leaked from his Ligier after a pit stop, causing a huge fire. Earlier in the race Luca Badoer also had a escape when Diniz flipped his Forti on its roll hoop, prompting the deployment of the Safety Car: a Renault Clio.





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