McLaren sees Baku as "damage limitation" after losing P3 to F1 rival Ferrari
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The Woking-based outfit struggled to match its chief midfield rival over one-lap in qualifying, and both Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo were each beaten by a Ferrari driver as they finished fifth and ninth in the race.With polesitter Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz taking P4 and P8 respectively, the result meant Ferrari leapfrogged McLaren into third place in the constructors’ championship for the first time this season.While Seidl took comfort from the fact McLaren has only fallen two points behind Ferrari after back-to-back races at circuits that suited the SF21 more than the MCL35M, he warned McLaren needs to improve its qualifying performances.“If you start P9 and P13 and are after the first corners P12 and P13, then finishing P5 and P9 – just one position behind each Ferrari – it is clearly damage limitation,” Seidl said on Sunday evening.“In the end, we need to finish higher up on Saturday, then our Sundays are a lot easier because I think we had the pace today to run further up the front.“But as soon as you were in the train today, there’s not a lot you can do. Again, a good job from both drivers and the team to keep their head calm in a tricky race. So we’re pretty happy that we only lost four points to Ferrari today, which was a good outcome after a disappointing Saturday.”Related ArticlesaccImages.createImage(); Perez praises Albon’s ‘openness’ in helping him achieve maiden Red Bull F1 winaccImages.createImage(); Mercedes ‘not operating at F1 championship-winning level’2791613.0064.jpg accImages.createImage();Both McLaren and Ferrari gained from Mercedes having a rare off day as Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas failed to score, while Red Bull’s Max Verstappen ed out due to a tyre failure.“I think if it would have been a normal race, it’s clear that Mercedes and Red Bull were gone,” Seidl added. “But I think if it would have been a flat-out race, it could have been very interesting with the tyre degradation of the Ferraris.“So difficult to say what would have been possible in a normal race and also difficult to say what would have happened if we would have finished yesterday in quali where we should have been, in terms of car performance.“But in the end, it doesn’t count; we need to get it together on Saturday and on Sunday and that’s what you have to work for. Then you get the results you deserve as a team and that’s our focus.”Related ArticlesaccImages.createImage(); Mercedes ‘not operating at F1 championship-winning level’accImages.createImage(); Binotto: Ferrari ‘expected better’ from “difficult” F1 Azerbaijan GPWhen asked if he felt McLaren would be more of a match for Ferrari at the next round at Paul Ricard, Seidl said: “It’s difficult to draw any conclusions from earlier races of the season in terms of the pecking order on specific tracks.“So I simply think it’s difficult to say. In general, what was positive again, ignoring our final positions in qualifying yesterday, is that we definitely got a lot closer to the Mercedes and Red Bulls in front of us in terms of pace, which is encouraging.“These are the steps we have to make as a team. We have to make these steps to fight these teams again in the future.””4
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