Covering ground: McLaren believes it has improved more than its competitors

According to McLaren team principal Andreas Seidl, his team is ecstatic to have started the new Formula 1 season as the third fastest on the grid. But, he believes that this is not a cue for them to get carried away.

The season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix saw Lando Norris coming in at a comfortable fourth position beating Sergio Perez and Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc by a significant margin.

On the other hand, Daniel Ricciardo finished seventh ensuring McLaren exiting Bahrain third at the constructors’ championship.

Talking about the race, Seidl was happy with how McLaren began 2021 at Bahrain and mentioned how it reduced the gap with Mercedes.

“First of all I am very happy with the outcome of the race,” Seidl said.

“Finishing the first race of the season in P4 and P7. It was exactly what we were looking for and also what we wanted to have leaving the first race, points for the constructors’ championship.

“It was encouraging to see that, if you looked at Lando’s race, we had the third-best car. It was also encouraging to see that if you look at the gap between Lando and Lewis, who had pretty much a flat out race, was only about 45 seconds.

“Again, it confirms that we made a good step forward again compared to these top guys over the winter, which as I said many times, it is key to make these steps in order to get back to the front again in the future.

“At the same time, we have to acknowledge we have strong competition who also made good steps forward so that’s the bigger picture and we simply need to make sure we don’t get carried away from that.”

McLaren had also revealed earlier this week that Daniel Ricciardo had picked up floor damage following contact with Pierre Gasley after the Safety Car restart.

“We celebrate today and we keep working hard and bring more updates to the car to make sure we stay in this battle. Lando did a brilliant race, he had it under control at every stage of the race.

“He did a great performance in qualifying, I think it was a good start today to the race.

“Somehow, we struggled on his car to find the same pace that Lando had. Every time he tried with Daniel to get a bit more out of the car, it wasn’t really there so it’s something we need to analyse and learn from.

“Very happy with how the entire weekend went with Daniel, very happy that he finished very well, very good points for the team and it was a good start.”

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