McLaren Formula 1 boss Andreas Seidl has cautioned his team must “not get carried away” after a strong Bahrain Grand Prix result provided a huge boost for the constructors’ championship.
Lando Norris and Carlos Sainz Jr started only ninth and 15th but after strong races from both McLaren drivers they finished fourth and fifth, logging 22 valuable points for the Woking outfit.
Sergio Perez’s late retirement from third provided a bonus on an evening when Racing Point failed to score, and Renault could manage only seventh and ninth.
With two races to go McLaren sits third on 171 points, ahead of Racing Point on 154, Renault on 144, and Ferrari on 131.
“Obviously the outcome is great for us, for this battle in the constructors’ championship,” said Seidl after the Bahrain race. “At the same time, we’re also aware that we benefited from the bad luck Checo had.
“But we also had races like this in this year, it is simply part of the competition we are in. It’s important to not get carried away with the result, we just need one bad race or a DNF and it can switch back quickly.”
Seidl stressed that the team has found performance with its recent aerodynamic package.
“First of all it’s encouraging to see that the car was performing like that,” he said. “And it seems that it’s down to all the upgrades that we bought over the last four or five races.
“We can see the benefits of it, which is great, and great rewards for everyone back home who was involved in these developments.
“But again, it’s nothing to get carried away by, it’s simply important that we stay focused on ourselves, it’s important we simply keep working hard to make sure the reliability stays on the healthy side, it’s important to still see if we can extract a bit more from the car in terms of performance, and it’s important to keep doing a good job on the operations side and with strategy and pitstops on Sunday.”
“But I have a lot of trust in the team together with our two drivers that we have it in our hands if we do our job.”
Norris, who currently sits seventh place in the drivers’ championship, admitted the result last weekend was a “big day” for him and McLaren but that he remained cautious for the remaining two races this season.
“It was a big day for us, I guess we weren’t expecting it at all,” said the Brit.
“We were lucky with the Racing Point [Perez] not finishing in the end, he was on for a podium, so fair play to him. But they were way too quick for us, 21 seconds or 22 seconds ahead at the time.
“They have good pace, and they have through the majority of the year. But we’ve had some unlucky races this year too, where we’ve been fighting for big points, like for me at Nurburgring, and it could happen to us in the next two weekends.
“So it’s nothing to joke about or smile about or get too happy about, I think we just take it as an advantage. But we still focus on ourselves for the next few weekends.”
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