‘Become worrying’: Ferrari and Mercedes sound the alarm over McLaren

McLaren has made massive leaps forward in recent months, culminating in a double podium finish at the Japanese Grand Prix.

Two of Formula 1’s top teams, Ferrari and Mercedes, have openly acknowledged their concerns about being left behind by the rapidly advancing McLaren squad. 

While Red Bull currently maintains a firm grip on the top spot in Formula 1, Mercedes and Ferrari find themselves trailing behind in the constructors’ standings, with less than half the points of the dominant Red Bull team.

Aston Martin, unexpectedly occupying the fourth position overall in 2023, has enjoyed a strong start to the season. 

However, McLaren’s remarkable performance has caught the attention of Lando Norris, who finished second at Suzuka and believes McLaren can overtake Aston Martin. 

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In his own words, Norris stated, “If it’s 49 points, then I definitely think we can.

“I think our advantage at the minute compared to almost every team is we have two drivers who are up there fighting for these positions and fighting for points.”

As McLaren continues its rapid improvement throughout the season, newcomer Oscar Piastri, recently signed through 2026, has also displayed increasing strength, further bolstering the team’s prospects.

Mercedes’ star driver, Lewis Hamilton, believes his team should carefully consider emulating McLaren’s approach by adopting the Red Bull car concept. 

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Hamilton emphasised, “They have proven that it can be done, and we need to look at what they did. 

“We have to go in that direction too. 

“The decisions we make now are crucial for our future path.”

Red Bull’s unprecedented dominance in 2023 has been marked by victories in every single Grand Prix except for Singapore, where the energy drink-owned team encountered difficulties, allowing Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz to capitalise on the opportunity.

Ferrari’s journey to Japan revealed a concerning trend as they found themselves outpaced by both Red Bull and McLaren. 

When asked about Ferrari’s apprehensions regarding McLaren’s rapid progress, Charles Leclerc offered a nuanced perspective, stating, “Yes and no. 

“This (Suzuka) was a track suited to their car characteristics, as was Silverstone. 

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“So let’s see. If they were to confirm their pace in Qatar then it would become worrying. 

“It’s already a worry, but we know that they are tracks where they are stronger. 

“If it’s like that again in Qatar, then we will start to worry more seriously.”