McLaren target fighting for points at Imola

McLaren target fighting for points at Imola

McLaren target fighting for points at ImolaMcLaren head to Imola after a fruitless weekend in Miami, the Team Principal Andrea Stella said the team is targeting a return to fighting for points in the coming races.

McLaren updated their MCL60 for the race in Baku, and scored points there, but then got a reality check in Miami, where the team was languishing way down the grid, failing to score points and finishing 17th and 19th with Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri.

Up next is Imola, and the once great Formula 1 team, can only hope to repeat some of their previous results there, as Norris was third in 2022 and 2021, but the best the Woking squad could hope for is score some points based on their form in 2023 so far, which is the target set by team boss Andrea Stella.

“After a positive race in Baku, we had a difficult event in Miami in which we scored no points,” Stella said in McLaren‘s race preview.

“The team have reset and are ready to go again in Imola to kickstart the triple header ahead of us. The activity at the factory keeps being fervent as we work to prepare for the next round of upgrades that will be introduced in a few races, which will make the car more competitive.

“In the coming races, our focus is to get back fighting for points,” the Italian added. “Imola is an interesting track for the drivers, with a fast pace and a variety of corners.

“We’ve had good results here in the past, so we aim to use that positivity whilst remaining focused on the challenges ahead in the short and long term,” he concluded.

Norris has good memories from Imola, Piastri looks to make some

Piastri: I've definitely been learning a lot from Lando

Norris, whose best result in 2023 was a sixth place finish in Melbourne, is also hoping Imola will be kind to him and McLaren as it was in the past, admitting he is out of contention this year.

“I’m looking forward to racing in Imola and getting the triple header underway,” he said. “It’s a fast technical track which can make it difficult to read. However, it’s got some iconic features, which make it a fun one to drive.

“The result in Miami wasn’t what we had hoped for, but we’ve done well at this track historically with back-to-back podiums in the last two years. Whilst we’re not in that fight this year just yet, the circuit holds some good memories. I’m going into this weekend feeling prepared having been in the sim and spending time back at the factory, so let’s get out there and keep pushing,” the Briton explained.

As for Piastri, the rookie will drive around Imola for the first time; he said: “I’m excited for my first race weekend in Imola. It’s a cool, fast track with some great features so I am looking forward to getting out there.

“We’ve done a full review of Miami and taken as many learnings as possible into the upcoming weekend. I’ve been back at the factory with the engineers and on the sim to ensure I’m ready to hit the ground running.

“Thanks to the team for all the work they’re doing, let’s keep our heads down and get back racing,” the Australian driver concluded.