Austria strength a one-off, say McLaren

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Andreas Seidl doesn’t expect McLaren to be as strong elsewhere as they were in Austria where the track suited them and Mercedes had issues.

The British team looked excellent at the Red Bull Ring, with Lando Norris qualifying P4 and P2 in the two races and finishing P3 in the second of them, even with a five-second penalty.

He narrowly missed out on pole position to Max Verstappen on the Saturday before taking the fight to both Mercedes drivers on the Sunday where he was a long way ahead of the rest of the midfield.

Seidl doesn’t expect that to remain the case going forward though, pointing out that it was a particularly good layout for the car and that Lewis Hamilton had picked up damage.

“I think we need to be realistic, it was a track that suits our car” the team boss said as per Motorsport.com.

“What was good to see is that I think, compared to last weekend, with the developments and with the fine-tuning we did with the set-up as well, we definitely made a step forward in terms of performance, both in qualifying and in the race. That allowed us to be in a position today to battle some of the top cars.

“But I don’t know exactly which issues for example Mercedes had or Lewis had, which gave us a chance to then score a podium purely down to our own performance, which is great.”

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Even before the two races in Austria though, it had been an excellent season for McLaren, with them building on the big progress that they made in 2020.

Seidl says they need to remain focused on continuing such progress rather than getting carried away and looking ahead to other teams.

“We know exactly where we stand as a team, we know what the deficit is,” he added.

“We know what the deficit also still is at the team’s side in terms of infrastructure and so on. So it’s not a surprise that we are where we are.

“We are on a journey. We have a clear plan of how we want to reduce this deficit and that takes some years, but the good thing is we make steps.

“We’re ambitious, but there is no magic and I simply think it’s always good to have a sense of realism, and not get carried away with results like Austria, which are great and give good energy to the team.

“But it doesn’t change the picture, the realistic picture we have in terms of where we are.”

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