Andreas Seidl says the McLaren F1 Team can take a lot of positives away from Sunday’s British Grand Prix, with Lando Norris returning to the points with a strong drive to sixth place at Silverstone.
However, the Team Principal of the Woking-based team says the biggest positive was to see the drivers involved in huge crashes in both the FIA Formula 1 World Championship and FIA Formula 2 on Sunday all walk away unscathed.
Zhou Guanyu, Alexander Albon and George Russell were involved in a big crash at the opening corner of the race at Silverstone, while Roy Nissany and Dennis Hauger were involved in a crash of their own during the Formula 2 Feature race earlier in the day.
And Seidl says the safety improvements implemented in recent years went a long way in protecting the drivers in both incidents.
“The most important thing is that all drivers involved in accidents today, F1 and Formula 2, are doing well,” said Seidl. “Motorsport works hard to improve safety and what we saw today demonstrates why that is essential.”
Seidl says the MCL36 appeared to have more pace at Silverstone than in the previous two rounds in Azerbaijan and Canada, at least on Norris’ side of the garage, with the Briton scoring sixth place, although he acknowledges that it could and should have been fifth but for a delay in pitting him behind the safety car that allowed Fernando Alonso to jump ahead.
However, it was another tough day for Daniel Ricciardo as he struggled to thirteenth, and the team will look into why the Australian could not match his team-mate all weekend long, as well as the reason behind why his Drag Reduction System (DRS) failed on him midway through the afternoon.
“For us, the positive we take away is that we had a more competitive car this weekend and we’re back in the points after two difficult races,” said Seidl. “Lando looked competitive all day but unfortunately lost out to Fernando in the final pit-stop, behind the Safety Car.
“Daniel’s weekend didn’t go to plan, which will need careful analysis over the next few days. He wasn’t in a position to deliver competitive lap times yesterday and today. In addition, he experienced a DRS failure that required an additional pit-stop mid-race and required him to run without the DRS in the second half of the race.”
With the positives from Silverstone, Seidl says McLaren can go to the Austrian Grand Prix at the Red Bull Ring aiming high, particularly with Norris having been on the podium there in the past.
“So, some positive signs and, as always, a lot to learn before we get going again five days from now in Austria, on a circuit where we’ve had tremendous results in recent years,” he said. “Before then, I have to say thanks to the entire team here at the track and back at the factory, together with our colleagues at HPP, for all of their efforts this week.
“I also want to thank Silverstone and the fans that made it special. The crowd has been massive, the atmosphere exceptional, and it’s wonderful to experience together with a lot of our colleagues from the factory who were cheering for us as well on the grandstands.”