Lando Norris ended a terrific race in Imola, MotorLAT and other selected media had the chance to have a press meeting interview with Andreas Seidl, McLaren’s team principal, right after the race.
'A podium for Lando is a great reward for the whole team.'— McLaren (@McLarenF1) April 18, 2021
Here's our race report. 👇
The first question was, of course, about the team order which asked to Ricciardo to let Norris pass by.
“Our intention was to let the drivers race freely. – McLaren’s boss stated - At one point, we had to take a decision to not make them bump into each other. We asked Daniel to let Lando pass just because he was faster on the track and had a better pace.''
This was the moment in which we talked about the track limits issue. We were wondering if maybe the cancelled time of Lando, which could have provided him a start on the third place could have helped in some way in motivating him.
Seidl confirmed that the young Briton was very focused and motivated to do a great race. “Yesterday it could have been a disappointment but it turned into today’s podium. He was trying very attentively to not repeat the same mistake and the whole team did a great job today”
Were his expectations fulfilled today?
“Lando made the next step as a driver and I’m very happy of that. For Daniel, today it was not an easy race. He tried “too much” but today the team did a great job”. He thought about the exact point in which Lando began dreaming about an actual podium. “We used the re-start to grab positions and take good decisions.”
Andreas then gave his opinion on the matter of Daniel’s (and Carlo’s) adjustments to a new team and car, if these changes can be frustrating and maybe overestimated.
“It’s not like they jump from a Formula 1 car to another one – he explains – we have tests, and next year we will have some more testing again. Every driver is obviously very, very talented and experienced so he knows how to adapt to a new car straightaway and push this cars to the limits, even if it takes some times but it’s no surprise”.
Mercedes’ crashes opened the way to losing 2022 car development, so the McLaren’s team principal was called to say what he would say to his drivers to avoid ruining 2022’s season.
“To not be aggressive how they would like – he answered promptly.
“Save the car for the 2022 season and be reasonable”- he adds, smiling.
What is going to be on the way for the future, considering that 2022 is going to be a tough year for everyone? We’re moving in the right direction. We are working very closely with the engineers and all the good results come from these guys and the hard work they are doing in the early years as well. I’m very, very happy of how the car is going this year, looking forward to Portimao. The sun is not always shining but keep the positivity and focus on the next session”.
Talking about the sun shining, the chat moved to a “hot theme” of these days: Miami coming in F1 in 2022.
“We have two races in the States and it’s very important for our partners, I’m very happy about this announcement and can’t wait to race in Miami next year”.
My turn came and I asked about Lando’s comments in the last part of the race, when he was worried about vibrations and how they were thinking to fix this problem in view of Portimao. Seidl was confident.
“Actually it wasn’t a big problem – he reassured me – It wasn’t related to the red flag, it’s normal during the last race to go up with some seconds when the last stint is over: we have nothing to work on for Portimao”.