The Turkish GP proved to be a challenging race with tricky track conditions for the McLaren team with Lando Norris finishing in 7th and Daniel Ricciardo outside the top ten in 13th. However, McLaren team principal Andreas Seidl choose to remain positive by focusing on how both drivers maximized the best results that they could under the unfavorable tyre and track conditions.
In the post-race press conference after the Turkish GP, Seidl discussed how the race unfolded for the McLaren team for each driver. He also expressed that the key takeaway of the race for the team was how well each diver performed given the damage limitations.
Seidl stated: “I think, also there we maximized everything which was possible on the strategy side, we got closer, but there was no more effect.“
“So we have to accept the result from today to be as the result of the performance we had in the car this weekend. We knew it was a tough track for us.”
So far this season Norris has shown that he can navigate difficult wet conditions on track, as he did in Imola, Austria, and the near-miss race win at Sochi. Given the problematic race conditions during the Turkish GP, Seidl stated that he was satisfied with Norris’ race result reiterating how the Brit was able to make the most out of the situation on track.
MotorLat asked Seidl if he was satisfied with Norris’ performance on track for the race given that he looked strong again in the wet conditions.
“I think on Lando’s side, it was not possible to do anything more than what it is today. It was a very tricky race in tricky conditions,” replied Seidl.
“And as I said before, together with the team, he (Lando Norris) maximized everything that was on the table for us today. Yeah, I mean, seeing the performance of our car this weekend. I would say with the result, in the end, we would be happy to do this clearly, given damage limitation.”
For Ricciardo who started the race at the back of the grid due to a last-minute engine change, the most strenuous task at hand was managing his tyre degradation. The Aussie, pushed hard on track to move up seven spots from the back of the grid to achieve his 13th place finish.
Despite the new engine upgrade, Ricciardo had installed for the Turkish GP, Seidl attributes his mid-field place finish on track to the constant battle he endured with his tyres throughout the race.
When asked about whether or not it was solely the tyre degradation that Ricciardo was battling on tack Seidl responded:
“No, the tires again, if you look at his (Daniel Ricciardo’s) car, how they look like in the back after the race, which is dead.
“But also an additional piece of wouldn't have changed the situations where we tried to hang on. And then I think he got overtaken with productivity and quality service to offer maps.”
While, Ferrari driver Carlos Sainz who also started at the back of the grid one place in front of Ricciardo because of an engine upgrade, Seidel explained that the Ferrari car had a “stronger package.”
“But I think from the first outing on what I've seen, that Ferrari car was simply a stronger package. So I don't think there's one specific area.”
“You see we’ve been simply struggling on this kind of tracks as we've seen several times. This year, that resulted in a clear lap time gap between February and our costs this weekend.”
“That's why it was also a lot easier for Carlos to get from the fifth.”
Although both Ferrari drivers Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz were able to secure more points than Norris and Ricciardo at the Turkish GP, the McLaren team managed to stay in front of the Italian team in the constructors' standings. With seven and a half-point difference between the McLaren and Ferrari teams for the constructors' championship, their goal is to continue to accumulate as many points as possible to stay in 3rd place in front of the Maranello-based team.
MotorLat also asked Seidl if he was also satisfied staying third in the constructors' championship ahead of Ferrari.
“Still, I think seven and a half points out ahead of Ferrari in the championship and you have to keep going, see that hopefully attracts that to our car back there,” stated Seidl.
“Again, that we maximize these weekends and score points, and stay ahead of Ferrari for our last race.”
Looking forward to the next race in Austin Texas, it's still too early to tell whether or not McLaren’s cars will be well-suited for the Circuit of the Americas track. When asked about where the team was strong and weak for the remaining races on the 2021 F1 calendar this year, including Circuit of the Americas, Seidel responded in an open-ended manner:
“I guess I can tell you next Friday. Let me back to my experts to get a good judgment. I think a track like Austin, for example, on paper should assume the better. Suppose we'll assume it sure, but I’ll give you a better picture the next time.”