Report: McLaren think they’re much closer to Mercedes


Sky Sports F1 pit lane reporter Ted Kravitz has been hearing very positive reports out of McLaren, with the Woking team confident that they have narrowed the gap to Mercedes and Red Bull.

McLaren have been one of the standout performers of pre-season testing so far, with Daniel Ricciardo topping two of the three morning sessions.

There has also been some interest generated in their rear diffuser, with the team seemingly coming up with a creative solution to the new regulations introduced over the off-season.

McLaren finished third in the constructors’ championship last season, but were still a way off competing for race wins.

However, the addition of a Mercedes power-unit this season is expected to provide a boost and according to Kravitz, the team are feeling bullish.

“McLaren are sitting very nicely indeed,” he told Sky Sports F1.

“They don’t imagine they’re faster than Red Bull or Mercedes, but they think they’re close – much closer than previous seasons. They’ve got through their programme, everyone is happy, they love their diffuser and the fact everyone thinks its illegal.

“They really are sitting pretty.”

Meanwhile, Mercedes have not had a smooth run during testing, with car issues and driver errors limiting their track time.

Kravitz reported that while things have been far from ideal, the team think they have made a breakthrough which will make the car more driver-friendly.

“It does look like Mercedes have found something,” he added.

“What the team are telling me is that they’ve understood something, and it looks like it might be something quite significant.

“Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton were sharing the same feelings about the car up to this morning, calling it snappy, calling it unforgiving, and it looks like Mercedes have found something to calm that car down and get some speed from it.”