McLaren boss makes ‘urgent’ admission

McLaren slipped to fourth in the pecking order at the 2023 Belgian GP, following two consecutive podiums for Lando Norris.

McLaren team principal Andrea Stella has admitted that the Woking-based team have “urgent work” to carry out, following a mixed performance at the Belgian Grand Prix last weekend.

The MCL60 appeared to vary in performance considerably depending on the weather conditions, with Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri having come alive when it was wet.

This was the case last Saturday at Spa-Francorchamps, with Piastri having held on for second in the sprint race.

It was in the dry where McLaren struggled, as Norris discovered on Sunday.

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Despite struggling for outright pace, the British driver somehow salvaged seventh place.

After a few very successful rounds of strong performance, the Belgian GP was certainly a reality check for the British team, but Stella noted that the disappointing pace of the car has at least informed the side where they need to improve.

“This weekend told us that where we could do work,” Stella said.

“The car is improved in some areas. This was confirmed. But, at the same time, this weekend confirmed the areas that we haven’t addressed yet.

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“[It] gives us a reality check that there’s more work to do and, to some extent, confirms that those areas, they need to be addressed quite urgently.

“This urgency, for instance, comes from the fact that a second race after [the summer] shutdown is Monza. You can’t go racing in Monza like [we did in Spa].

“So, there’s urgent work that needs to happen at McLaren to fix the situation.”

Without their low-drag rear wing, McLaren’s straight-line speed was a concern in Belgium, with Stella recognising that improving their speed without their special rear wing is an area which needs to be worked on.

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“We have to very frankly admit that, while this configuration gave us an advantage in the previous days, [the GP] was starting to be a significant issue,” Stella explained.

“Overall, let’s say there’s some learning we take out of this weekend. I think the opportunity to remark is not like we necessarily wanted to target this configuration.

“Fixing the efficiency of the car at low drag is on the to-do list. But it was lower than some of the priorities that we have worked on in the previous months.”