It was a solid home weekend for McLaren, as the British team snatched P4 and P5 with drivers Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo. Norris, who regains P3 in the drivers' standings and is still the only driver in the points in every race of the season, had hopes for a podium too, but a slow pit ruined his chances.
Team Principal Andreas Seidl explained what went wrong in the post-race media session, which included MotorLat.com: "After a series of really good pit stops we had this year unfortunately there was a cross-threaded lug nut not touching the rear, that delayed the pit stop to six seconds. It turned off the outcome of the race, I think."
He isn't sure that Norris could have been able to keep the Mercedes driver behind him without the unfortunate stop: "It's difficult to say if there was a chance to fight for P3, because I think if we would have had a normal pit stop Valtteri would have gone long long long with his stint."
He also clarified that the mechanics weren't at fault in this case: "It was the same crew as always, and another issue that had nothing to do with the work of the crew. Especially in the last two months we have made some good steps forward, it was a kind of issue that we hadn't seen in a long time, so we'll need to take some time to analyse what happened there, and the parts, to make sure it won't happen again."
"It was a delayed pit stop, but not a catastrophic one like we have seen in the past. Of course we don't want it to happen, but if it happened at least it was safe and it allowed us to stay in the race."
Overall he's satisfied with the team's performance, which secured for another couple of weeks the third place in the constructors' standings, in spite of main rivals Ferrari scoring a podium with Charles Leclerc, who led the race for fifty laps:
"For us, it was a very strong weekend with P4 and P5, more points in our battle for the constructors' championship. In the end, we have to accept that in the race Charles especially, and Ferrari was very quick all weekend, but looking at ourselves a lot of positives, we see also the gap we had to Mercedes and Red Bull was a lot smaller than last year's, a good step forward again."
"What is also positive to see, at least for this race, It looks like there's a bit of a gap opening up with the teams behind, which showed us the progress we're making with the car so far in the season," he added.
He praised the driving of both his drivers, with Ricciardo doing considerably better than in the previous rounds and Norris ending yet another race in the top four:
"Very strong driver again this weekend from Lando, and I'm very happy that Daniel could make a big step forward in qualifying on Friday and managed to pull off two good races, it's great to see it before we go to Hungary."
When asked if he was surprised by the pace showed today by Ferrari, considering that the Italian team had some extremely low points in the season, like when in France neither driver managed to end the race in the top ten, Seidl denied:
"To be honest I'm not surprised by the performance that the Ferrari teammates can pull off, or by the steps they're making forward, they're a strong team with two strong drivers and they have the resources needed in order to react properly to the problems they have experienced. It'll be a very intense battle until the end of the season, hopefully."