Fernando Alonso’s blistering performance in Silverstone led McLaren to change strategies

The current 2021 season has turned out to be one of the best for McLaren, especially after exceptional performances by Lando Norris.

The outfit stands third in the constructor’s list and Norris has already earned three podiums amid the title fight between Red Bull and Mercedes.

The British Grand Prix was the base for the inaugural sprint qualifying session which saw Norris and Daniel Ricciardo finish P5 and P6 respectively.

However, through the entire 100 km race, Alpine’s Fernando Alonso was a constant threat to McLaren.

Almost a week after the iconic race, McLaren’s F1 director Randy Singh talked about the influence of the Spaniard on McLaren’s strategies.

It was all about the tyres

Prior to the sprint, Alonso faced a difficult qualifying which saw him secure the P11 spot. The sprints allowed a free tyre choice to all drivers.

All drivers, excluding Valtteri Bottas, decided to go with the medium tyres.

The Spaniard also went for the soft tyres.

The soft tyres have less life as compared to the mediums, but Alonso was able to use them judiciously.

The 39-year-old started from P11 and within the very first lap, reached P7 which he maintained till the end of the race.

He also created a difficult situation for Norris and Ricciardo throughout the race.

What did Singh say?

During McLaren’s British Grand Prix debrief, Singh mentioned that it is very difficult to find out if the tyres or the driver’s skill influenced the race.

“It is very tricky to separate how much is tyre, and how much is car and driver,” Singh said.

“Did someone like Fernando have a good start because he had a Soft tyre fitted, or did he fit a Soft tyre because he has good starts and wanted to maximize the potential?” he added.

It is true that Alonso is an exceptional driver. However, his tyre choice too aided in his performance.

Wanted new tyres for the sprint

The sprint qualifying saw 16 cars opting for the medium tyres. Singh talks about how they were the perfect choice considering the circumstances of the race.

“There was a lot of planning that went into the weekend and one thing that we decided on was to make sure we had a new tyre with which to start the sprint, which in this case was a Medium. Strategically, it was fairly simple,” Singh said.

“Most of the other teams went the same way as us – though a few drivers tried the Soft,” he concluded.

With the upcoming Hungarian Grand Prix, McLaren will try to push their fight for the title yet again.

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