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Seidl: Alonso, Vandoorne deserve credit for McLaren revival

  • Published on 01 Jul 2019 15:45
  • comments 8
  • By: Fergal Walsh

McLaren team principal Andreas Seidl says the team's 2018 drivers Fernando Alonso and Stoffel Vandoorne deserve credit for McLaren's new found speed this season.

The Woking squad currently holds fourth place in the championship, boasting a 20 point lead over Renault after Lando Norris and Carlos Sainz finished sixth and eighth respectively in Austria. 

MORESainz: McLaren's race pace was 'very special'

The result has been consistent with McLaren's pace this year, a stark contrast to its 2018 season when it was competing towards the back of the field.

"No one expected in the team, finishing last season as the ninth fastest car, to make such a step," Seidl confirmed.

"It simply shows that a lot of the changes triggered last year are paying off. The team did a good job bringing this car to the track. Also the drivers from last year, we should pay a lot of credit to, Fernando and Stoffel.

"They pointed out the weaknesses and where to develop the car. And now the target is to keep going with the development."

Sainz was losing one second per lap during final laps

Sainz pulled his McLaren into the top ten after starting from the back of the grid due to engine penalties.

Seidl believes that the Spaniard could have overtaken Pierre Gasly for seventh, had he not picked up front wing damage on the final laps.

"It was great to finish P6 and P8," Seidl said. "It was a great drive from Carlos to recover after starting from last. It could have been even better but unfortunately, he damaged his front wings some laps before the end.

"Then it was about surviving and keep the position. There was a chance to attack Gasly. 

"We had a lot of understeer. In terms of lap time, we lost about a second. We were lucky that Raikkonen also lost lap time.

"I'm very happy for the team, because it's good to confirm that Paul Ricard was not just a one-off. We were once again the fourth quickest team in the midfield."

Replies (8)

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  • f1ski

    Posts: 726

    I would think that the drama that typically follows Alonso hurt the team. Kudos to them for their improvement. I think having management that allows the engineers to do their jobs without constraints is what makes the difference.

    • + 1
    • Jul 1 2019 - 15:49
    • xoya

      Posts: 583

      Problem with Alonso is that he is too high profile and deserves to be in a better car, so he was unsatisfied with being near the bottom all the time.
      He just isn't a development driver, but a Primadonna like Hamilton.

      • + 0
      • Jul 1 2019 - 17:40
    • Yep and yep. Alonso leaving was no doubt good for McLaren as it was the first time he left them. I've always been an Alonso fan but you're right, diva.

      • + 0
      • Jul 1 2019 - 19:35
  • Nice of him to recognise that. I wonder if Alonso hurt McLaren more than help them

    • + 0
    • Jul 1 2019 - 18:46
    • It's hard to say. His experience is most likely invaluable, and the sponsors and people he tend to attract to anything he touches are probably a great boon, but I'd say the pressure he put on the team combined with that salary(!!!) did at the very least balance it out. I do however think a lower profile driver with long experience, like Hulk or Perez, would've been a more optimal choice for them compared to Alonso during this little journey, but right now Sainz and Norris are a good lineup. Competitive and without the drama.

      • + 0
      • Jul 1 2019 - 19:44
  • denis1304

    Posts: 284

    So if McLaren doesn't move forward next year, Lando Norris and Carlos Sainz are $hait?

    • + 0
    • Jul 1 2019 - 18:54
  • Credit where credit is due, but how do you think that makes your current drivers feel Bubba? What a dumb thing for a team boss to come out and say, if he's not giving his current drivers credit. It sounds like he has some reason for kissing FA's a$$, but the quote doesn't make it sound as dramatic as the headline does.

    • + 0
    • Jul 1 2019 - 19:39
    • I don't think this is him neglecting the current drivers as much as it is him trying to include the previous drivers into the celebrations. Nobody doubts the role the current drivers have in their progress, but it's nice of him to also include the old ones into the mix.

      • + 0
      • Jul 2 2019 - 06:26

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