McLaren team principal Andreas Seidl has spoken of his pride at the Woking-based team’s efforts during the 2021 season, labelling it “one of the most exciting seasons” in the history of Formula 1.
Lando Norris finished seventh, while his team-mate Daniel Ricciardo struggled to 12th in the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, diminishing McLaren’s already-dim chances of beating Ferrari to third in the Constructors’ Standings.
Seidl, however, was focusing on the positives of 2021.
“We end a positive season with a tricky and dramatic race. Lando did well to bring the car home in the points after plenty of disruption towards the end of the race,” he said.
“Unfortunately, for Daniel, the timing of the Safety Car limited his opportunity to fight with the Alpines. We thank Daniel and Lando for their hard work this year.
“They’ve helped us score the most points since 2012, secured five podiums, and achieved our first win in nine years.”
Seidl was also eager to recognise the efforts of everyone at the team following the 22-race season – the longest in the sport’s history.
“I’d also like to thank several groups of people for their commitment and dedication after this long season.
“Our race team, who spend their weekends away and sacrifice special moments with loved ones in service to the team, chasing performance at every opportunity, and our team back in Woking for their dedication and support around the clock to put us in the best possible position to perform on track.
“We’re also lucky to have two fantastic simulator and development drivers in Oliver Turvey and Will Stevens. With so many new circuits this year, their work has been even more important.
“To our fans, whose support we feel all around the world, and are the reason we do what we do: we thank you for your continued passion and friendship and we hope you’ve enjoyed following our journey this year.
“To our sponsors, without whom we simply wouldn’t be able to go racing: we value our partnerships and look forward to enjoying more success with you in the near future,” Seidl added.
Despite the highly controversial end to the title-deciding 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Seidl appreciated the efforts of the FIA to create an entertaining season of racing.
“To F1 and the FIA, who have worked exceptionally hard to deliver this season under tricky circumstances: that work has been rewarded with one of the most exciting seasons in memory.
“At the same time, we thank the outgoing FIA President Jean Todt for his service to our sport and wish his successor well.”
The 45-year-old believes his team did a marvellous job of coping with the switch from Renault to Mercedes power this season – the first time McLaren have used Mercedes engines since 2014.
“Coming into the 2021 season, one of the biggest changes for our team was the change of engine supplier. With the help of Mercedes HPP, we’ve been able to successfully implement this new power unit into our car, helping us deliver our first win since 2012.
“We also thank Pirelli for their hard work and collaboration, all while developing brand new 18-inch tyres for the new regulations next year.”
He concluded: “Finally, it’s been an incredibly exciting year of Formula 1, and as a team we’re proud of the progress we’re making and the journey we’re on. We’re ready to take on the new regulations in 2022 as we embark on this new era of Formula 1.”
Norris and Ricciardo managed five podiums between them this year, finish sixth and eighth in the Drivers’ Championship, respectively.
Ricciardo’s victory at the 2021 Italian Grand Prix was the team’s first P1 finish since the Brazilian Grand Prix of 2012.