45 Seconds Gap to Mercedes in Bahrain GP an ‘Encouraging Sign’: Mclaren F1

Published 04/02/2021, 8:05 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – Pre-Season Testing – Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain – McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo in action during testing REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed


McLaren were impressive in the first round in Bahrain for the 2021 season. Both their drivers finished in the Top-10, earning 18 points, taking them to 3rd place in the standings.

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The team boss, Andreas Seidl, says he is proud of the team and thinks they can close the gap to Mercedes. Daniel Ricciardo finished the race in 7th place, even though he had sustained damage that caused him to lose downforce. Lando Norris crossed the line with an impressive 4th.

The team heads to Italy for the second round of the season. The Woking-based outfit hopes they can score some more points and close the gap to the Silver Arrows.

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Seidl sees McLaren catching up to Mercedes in the coming races

In the post-race interview, the team principal said, “I’m very happy with what the team pulled off this weekend. because I think the hard work everyone has put in over winter was paying off.

“The gap for example, to [winner] Lewis [Hamilton], was only about 45 seconds I think.”

Formula One F1 – Bahrain Grand Prix – Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain – March 28, 2021 McLaren’s Lando Norris in action during the race REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed

Seidl added, “In a race where these guys at the front were flat out that’s an encouraging sign because it confirms again we made a good step forward with the car.”

Ricciardo thinks there are some learnings to take away from his first race with McLaren

After the Bahrain Grand Prix, Ricciardo said, “I would say if I [take] the weekend as a whole, I’m pretty happy. But if I just focus on the race itself, I struggled quite a bit in the race actually.

“I couldn’t really extract the pace from the car and when I did, I could do it for one or two laps, and then it would quickly drop off again with the tyres and the balance, so I just didn’t feel like I had a good race performance or race package.”

Formula One F1 – Bahrain Grand Prix – Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain – McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo during the press conference FIA/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS – THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES

He added, “Obviously it’s still new to me, so I’m sure there’s going to be a lot of homework for me to do personally to obviously keep getting better,” he added.

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“I made plenty of notes through the race of what I [was feeling in] the car and where that was holding me back, so I’ll give feedback, I’m sure they’ll give feedback to me and we’ll come to Imola in better shape.

“But I think if 7th is a poor race, we’re looking alright!

The Italian Grand Prix is the second round for the season. Can the Woking-based team catch up to their rivals from Brackley, or will the Silver Arrows continue to be unstoppable in the 2021 season as well? What did you think of McLaren’s first race of this season? Let us know in the comments below.

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Arpit Gomes

331 articles

Arpit Gomes is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. Currently pursuing his Journalism degree from Xavier’s Institute, he is a big fan of McLaren and their driver Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo. Arpit always looks forward to the paddock moving to Spa and drivers dealing with the exciting Eau Rouge corner as well the straight at Monza.

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