Is the midfield in for a reshuffle this weekend in Barcelona? McLaren sporting director Gil de Ferran is adamant that the updates run by the teams adding up to the tight contention amongst the midfield could potentially scramble the pecking order.
"In Barcelona there's potential for a big reshuffle, because a lot of people bring different things, and we don't control that" he said. The Barcelona round is usually a crucial touchstone as for the evolution of the cars, therefore all teams are set to expose their developmental direction to the public eye.
"We only control what we can do. I think on the positive side I think we understand the strengths and weaknesses of our current car, and we're very focussed on saying we need to improve the weaknesses that we've identified.”
The Brazilian praises McLaren’s tangible progress throughout the first four races of the season, particularly compared to the past five years. It is still too early to predict if and how the MCL34 will blossom and ascend in the near future, but the Woking-based team feels proud of its achievements so far.
"Where we're going to be in Barcelona and from then on, I've no idea. It's just heads down, and step-by-step."
McLaren currently stands fourth in the constructors’ championship and has shown solid promise in terms of raw potential and concrete results as well. A very pleased De Ferran commented on Sainz and Norris finishing respectively 7th and 8th in Azerbaijan, but he prefers to remain cautious over the future. "It's a good taste in the mouth. Obviously it was an unfortunate race in China, so to bounce back with double points is good. But let's not get ahead of ourselves. There's still a lot of work ahead, so let's keep walking. The team is doing a great job both trackside and back at the factory."
"I think a good indication of that is the pit stops. They keep improving throughout the year, and Baku again we did really well in the stops.
"Ever since last year we're trying to identify every opportunity and every weakness that we have, and slowly and in a calm manner try to improve every aspect of everything that we do. We're trying not to get ahead of ourselves." he said.
By the looks of it, we need to keep an eye on everyone at the Spanish GP, since we could witness a few surprises from the bottom to the top of the field. What do you think McLaren will achieve this weekend in Catalunya?