Gil de Ferran says that whilst it was positive to see the McLaren F1 Team score points in the Singapore Grand Prix, there is still a lot of work to be done within the Woking-based squad to be a truly competitive entity on the grid once more.
Fernando Alonso was able to bring the car home in seventh place two weeks ago at the Marina Bay Street Circuit, the first time the team had been the ‘best of the rest’ behind Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport, Scuderia Ferrari and Aston Martin Red Bull Ring since the opening round of the season in Australia back in March.
Singapore was also the first race since the British Grand Prix in July that both Alonso and team-mate Stoffel Vandoorne both saw the chequered flag and heading into this weekend’s Russian Grand Prix at the Sochi Autodrom, McLaren sporting director de Ferran says it is important to again bring both cars home to see the chequered flag on Sunday whilst showing the best possible performance they can achieve with the MCL33.
“Although coming home with points from Singapore was a satisfying result and a much-needed step forward in performance after a challenging few races, we know there is a still a lot of work ahead of us,” said de Ferran.
“Sochi is a different circuit, a new challenge, and we look ahead to another race weekend where we know we will need to keep our heads down and fight hard. The first priority is to maintain the reliability we achieved in Singapore, which was a positive result, while focusing on maximising our performance.”
Lando Norris will make his third free practice appearance of the season on Friday and will De Ferran says that it will be another positive step in his programme as he prepares himself for his maiden Formula 1 race campaign in 2019.
“Lando will once again drive in FP1 in Russia, which will be a busy weekend for him, as he combines his F1 duties with his F2 championship campaign,” said de Ferran.
“Nevertheless, this will hopefully be another positive step in his development.”