Monday, May 27, 2024

McLaren’s Montréal Troubles Continue but Stella Insists They were ‘keenly competitive in the midfield’

The Circuit Gilles Villeneuve continues to act as a bogey track for the McLaren F1 Team as their hunt of their first points at the track since 2014 continued on Sunday.

Despite finishing eighth on the road, Lando Norris was classified thirteenth after being handed a five-second time penalty for unsportsmanlike behaviour during the Canadian Grand Prix, while Oscar Piastri ended the day just outside the points in eleventh.

Not since Jenson Button and Kevin Magnussen scored points at the track in 2014 have McLaren finished inside the top ten in Canada, and it was also the fifth time in eight races during the 2023 FIA Formula 1 World Championship season that neither of their current drivers have scored.

Andrea Stella, the Team Principal of McLaren, admitted it was a shame to leave Montréal without any points, particularly as he felt the team were showing themselves to be competitive.  And he says they can leave the track with some confidence as they were able to show much better race pace than they had in several previous events, including the Spanish Grand Prix two weeks previous.

“It’s a shame to leave Canada with no points at the end of a race where we were keenly competitive in the midfield,” said Stella.  “Lando crossed the line P9 but was penalised five seconds and demoted to P13, which is unfortunate.

“The positive that we’re taking away from Montréal is that the car had good race pace today in some parts of the race, but again we struggled, especially in the second stint, when tyres get too hot.

“We’re looking forward to the future now and to upgrading the MCL60, with a view to strengthening our pace and getting into the points consistently in the future.”