Formula 1

McLaren looking to ‘maximise all opportunities’ in Russia

3 Mins read
McLaren - Tuscany
Credit: Glenn Dunbar/ Motorsport Images

After a race of mixed fortunes in the Tuscan Grand Prix at Mugello, McLaren F1 Team are aiming to score a good amount of points to extend their lead against the midfield in the constructors’ championship.

Piers Thynne– McLaren’s production director- says the team need to ‘focus hard on the task at hand and continue to work hard’ in order to finish high up the order in Sochi.

He also stated that this year’s new challenges concerning the balance of parts available had been made slightly trickier after Carlos Sainz crash at the restart last time out cost the team valuable resources, stating that the team ‘lost significant parts over the weekend at Mugello which need backfilling and preparing ahead of the flyaway to [Russia].’

However, Thynne did say the team are looking forward to Sochi, and that they have plans to ‘deploy some new updates in future races with the aim to improve the car.’

‘Having time to recharge after nine races in 11 weeks was needed’

At the last race in Tuscany, Lando Norris was the sole McLaren left in the field after a crash left Sainz out of contention- and he delivered once again.

The Brit finished an excellent sixth, keeping his nose out of the frequent contacts and collisions to bring home some important points for both himself and the Woking-based team.

Norris expressed just how nice it was to decompress after a packed schedule, stating it was ‘needed’ to have some time to relax. Although he was quick to point out his hunger to get back behind the wheel, saying he’s ‘ready to go again.’

We head to the Russian Grand Prix next, for the first flyaway of the season. The schedule is looking a bit more ‘normal’ for the next few races after three triple-headers. Having time to recharge after nine races in 11 weeks was needed but I’m ready to go again.

We know we’ve got our work cut out for us with the midfield competition being so close, but hopefully we can hit the ground running right from FP1 on Friday. “

The track in Sochi has its own challenges with a mixture of technical 90-degree corners and high-speed straights, not to mention the 180-degree left-hander that is Turn Three. Following on from Mugello, it’ll be great to have fans back in the grandstands again in Russia to cheer us on. Of course, the priority is to ensure they enjoy the race safely, and we want to put on the best show we can for them.

Sainz: “We obviously want to stay ahead of the competition, maximise all opportunities and bring home a good result.”

It was an unlucky weekend for Carlos Sainz last time out as he was the victim of a very unusual incident at the safety-car restart of the Tuscan Grand prix which saw him retire early on- albeit thankfully unharmed.

Whilst the Spaniard says he was relieved those involved were unharmed, he admits the crash was frustrating and something he hopes to ‘never see again in a race’

The third triple-header of the season gave us some high and low moments. The great result at Monza was an important boost for the entire team, but what happened at Mugello is something I hope we never see again in a race.”

As I said before, the most important thing is that everyone left unharmed, but I’m sure we will discuss it all together again in Russia to understand what happened and agree on how we can avoid it in the future.”

Nine races in 11 weekends was super tough for the whole crew, so it’s been good to have some time to reset, properly analyse the last races and recharge batteries.”

Sainz is now looking for a strong result in Russia to compensate for the disappointment last weekend, and considering Sochi is a track he has excelled at in the past, it would be fair to assume he has the potential to replicate the same performances this time out. Carlos is not taking any chances, however, and says the fight will no doubt be ‘extremely tight.’

“I look forward to the Russian GP. I finished P6 there last season and scored some good points, but that was a year ago and now we face new challenges and still an extremely tight fight to get into the points.

We obviously want to stay ahead of the competition, maximise all opportunities and bring home a good result. Let’s go for it!”

Credit: Steven Tee/Motorsport Images/McLaren F1 Team
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Sixteen-year-old Motorsports Journalist covering Formula One for TCF, follow at @jamesthomasf1 on Twitter
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