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Stella: Important to acknowledge how far we've come in the season

Stella: Important to acknowledge how far we’ve come

Stella: Important to acknowledge how far we've come in the season

McLaren Team Principal Andrea Stella hailed his team for the improvement they have achieved after a tough start to their 2023 Formula 1 season, pointing out how far they’ve come.

McLaren have struggled at the start of this season, their MCL60 off the pace and as a result fired their Technical Director James Key, but after that seemed to turn things around with successful midseason upgraded to their car in Austria catapulting them to the second fastest position in the pecking order.

Stella’s statement comes after the teams secured a double podium – Lando Norris second and Oscar Piastri third – at the Japanese Grand Prix, as he was also previewing the 2023 Qatar Grand Prix this weekend.

In McLaren‘s race preview, he said: “As we head into Qatar GP week, it’s important to acknowledge how far we have come in the season.

“Achieving a P2 and P3 in Japan was not an easy task, but it was made possible by the quality of the work of the teams’ work at the factory and trackside. We’re more determined than ever to continue improving, as we work towards being consistent in fighting at the top of the field.

“The Qatar race is fairly new to F1, as we have only visited the Lusail International Circuit once before back in 2021,” the Italian pointed out. “However, this is the first time we will be bringing the new generation of cars here, so everyone will be trying to make the most of the practice sessions, and the Sprint format only adds to that challenge.

“As always, we aim to come away with as many points as possible as we look to maximise our performance in the Constructors’ Championship,” Stella concluded.

MCL60’s pace in Japan encouraging for the remainder of the season

After a short break following his second place at Suzuka, Norris said: “We’re back racing after a week off. We had a very successful race in Japan with another P2 for me and a double podium for the team.

“The car had strong pace, which is encouraging as we go into the final six races of the season,” the Briton added.

“Qatar up next. It’s another Sprint race weekend, so more opportunity for points. This is only the second time we’re racing at the Lusail International Circuit, so we will have to learn as much as we can from the Friday practice session.

“I’ve been back at the MTC with the engineers in preparation over the last two weeks. We’ll look to extract the maximum from the car and hopefully bring home some more points,” Norris concluded.

After his first ever F1 career podium, Piastri heads to another track which he has never driven before, but the rookie is relishing the challenge.

“After a great week away from racing taking in my first podium, it’s time to head to Qatar,” Piastri said in the team’s preview of the Qatar Grand Prix.

“This is another new track for me, but of course that makes it all the more interesting. I spent some time last week with my engineers going over what we learned in Japan and what we can take forward to Qatar,” he revealed.

“It’s a Sprint weekend, which I do enjoy. Hopefully, we can hit the ground running as there are more chances for points. I’m excited and can’t wait to get going,” Piastri concluded.

With the 2023 F1 season entering its final stage, McLaren are now chasing fourth place in the Constructors’ Standings as they have a 49-point-gap to close to take the position from Aston Martin.