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F1 | Hungarian GP | Andrea Stella says Ricciardo is "the opposite end" of McLaren's car characteristics as Seidl expects a "strong" Ferrari this weekend

MotorLat was present on McLaren's media briefing pre-practice at the Hungaroring as Andrea Stella and Andreas Seidl spoke on how McLaren as a team is facing the last race before summer break, how Daniel Ricciardo keeps working on adaptation, and the battle the team will face with Ferrari in this particular venue.

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F1 | Hungarian GP | Andrea Stella says Ricciardo is "the opposite end" of McLaren's car characteristics as Seidl expects a "strong" Ferrari this weekend
Fuente imagen: Hasan Bratic - MotorLat

MotorLat was with McLaren at today's media event. Andreas Seidl and Andrea Stella appeared to talk about the challenge facing the high temperatures of the Hungaroring just before heading to summer break, and the Italian began stating that the upgrades the team will install for the weekend will not be the last for the 2021 season.

“First of all, we do have some upgrades here in Hungary and they will not be the last upgrades of the season. Simply because when you release upgrades it takes some time to produce them and learn the trackside. Once you test the parts trackside it could be different for the development tools, information that doesn't necessarily require to go past the wind tunnel.”

The McLaren racing director arrived at Woking as head of on-track operations after spending 14 years at Ferrari, since he first joined the Maranello team in 2000. There, he worked alongside Michael Schumacher, Kimi Raikkonen and Fernando Alonso, and so now he took the opportunity to speak on how Daniel Ricciardo has developed so far inside McLaren, in a season where the Australian driver has been criticized and scrutinized for his disappointing performances.

"On Daniel's side, he came to McLaren in terms of driving characteristics, I would say from the opposite end. He's a driver that likes to roll the speed in the corner and not necessarily attack the braking as much as our car requires.”

“He understood very quickly what the issue was in terms of exploiting all the speed, but the progress that we do see race after race is not necessarily in Formula 1 like a switch from race to race.”

“One aspect that may I not heard enough about is that it is not easy to exercise in F1. Winter testing was to a minimum. Free practice sessions on Friday are one hour less and still it is practice in preparation for a race. It is not a systematic way of adapting to a car at the incredibly high level at which a Formula 1 driver operates nowadays,” Stella said.

“I have to say the level of drivers now is very high. We do see progress and we also see the racecraft on Daniel which is very complete. And then there is the attitude that is very positive. It is exactly what we see and we know about Daniel, which means even when we are not achieving the speed that we would like, the spirit is strong. We keep enjoying the journey. So I'm very optimistic for the future.”

When asked by MotorLat about the fight McLaren will face with Ferrari and how the Hungaroring could suit both teams on their path to become P3 on the constructors' championship, Andreas Seidl, McLaren’s Team Principal, stated that the team is “not going into a weekend in a Friday morning with damage limitation in mind.”

“Difficult to say. We expect Ferrari to be strong here. Therefore I think it's definitely not a track that suits our car that much, but at the same time we've brought updates to the car in recent weeks which hopefully will improve some of the weaknesses of our car here,” Seidl concluded.

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