Until the Mexican Grand Prix, McLaren competed fully for third place among the constructors, where it had Ferrari as its biggest opponent. However, a series of incidents and bad luck have left the team behind. Daniel Ricciardo was involved in the Valtteri Bottas incident on the opening lap of the race in Mexico, retired in Brazil due to a crack in the chassis and finished outside the points in Qatar due to extreme fuel savings.
The only points were therefore scored by Norris, who finished tenth in Mexico and Brazil and saw a top-five in Qatar when he suffered a flat tire late in the race. He eventually finished ninth. McLaren is now 39.5 points behind Ferrari with the constructors. A mediocre series, Seidl admits. He does state that the last three races are not representative of the shape of the racing stable.
“We have to accept in a way that it has been tough for the team, that we only get four points in three races is of course painful,” said Seidl. “If we look at what happened and how we lost the points, we can say that most of it was beyond our control or was simply bad luck. That is also part of this sport. The good thing is that in Qatar we saw what the gap is and we had a competitive car there, two drivers showing up on the track and the team did good pit stops. We just have to come back in Saudi and strike.”
“We’ll Keep Fighting”
According to Seidl, the team is investigating the cause of the system error in Ricciardo’s car, the Australian had to save a lot of fuel early in the race. The German also thinks Norris could have scored a decent number of points had he not had a flat tire late in the race. “I think we should have been in fourth and fifth place in proportion,” said Seidl. “Then it is of course even more painful that we had a flat tire, after two bad weekends in Brazil and Mexico it would be nice to take a good result for the constructors’ championship.”
McLaren had no explanation for the cause of Norris’ puncture, but the team hopes to perform well in the last two races of the season. Even if they do not manage to get hold of Ferrari, a strong lock can help to get off to a good start next season. “With the broken tire we missed an opportunity, this triple header was not for us,” added Seidl. “Sometimes it’s like that in sports. For us it is important that we keep fighting, certainly as long as the constructors’ championship is not out of sight in theory, we will continue to do so. Apart from that, we want to use the last races of this season to finish strong and start the winter break with our heads held high.”