Ferrari hails McLaren for providing fierce competition – “We focused on becoming sharper”

Ferrari hailed their rivals McLaren for providing them with some fierce competition in 2021, saying they helped them perform better.

2021 saw Ferrari and McLaren duke it out for P3 in the Constructors’ Championship. Although the Woking outfit dominated their Maranello counterparts in the first half of the season, Team Red staged an epic second-half comeback to clinch the distinction.

It was ecstasy for Ferrari, who had their redemption after a horrific 2020 season. In their quest to return to the title picture, beating their greatest rivals was a huge milestone.

Ferrari hailed McLaren for providing them with some fierce competition in 2021, saying their pressure forced them to step up.

As quoted by Planet F1, when asked if the season-long battle with McLaren had pushed them to do better, sporting director Laurent Mekies said, “I think it did.

“At first, we started the season with the McLaren a bit faster than us in more situations. They opened a good gap in the championship and then, in parallel to that, we were in that unique situation, certainly for Ferrari, where there is no development from early on.

“We really, certainly trackside and also Maranello-side, as far as the support is concerned, we really focused on how we could use that year to become sharper and develop as a race team and to develop our tools and so on.

Lando Norris, McLaren and Charles Leclerc, Ferrari, side-by-side. Brazil, November 2021.
Ferrari vs McLaren an enticing battle in 2021. Source: planetf1.com

“So yes, it did become our World Championship for last year. It’s a very good team to fight against. They got some fantastic moments. They won Monza. They could have won Sochi.”

Competition breeds excellence

“They (McLaren) are very, very competitive. They are also in a very good dynamic themselves, so it was a good challenge,” Mekies continued.

 “Yes, it was a challenge where you needed to make less mistakes than them. You need to put more of these small designs together if you want to beat them. So it was ultimately the same thing as what’s happening for the top two positions.

“It’s the same dynamic. The points lost cost you the same. Therefore, it was good training for the team.”

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