Seidl ‘very happy’ after double points for McLaren in Australian GP

Lando Norris leads Daniel Ricciardo

McLaren’s first double-points finish of the season demonstrated the maximum performance level the team can currently expect, according to team principal Andreas Seidl.

Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo finished fifth and sixth in the Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix after spending much of the 58-lap encounter running nose to tail.

That they had near identical pace throughout, to Seidl, is evidence that both were maximising the current MCL36 package.

“I would say so,” the German said when asked if that was the most the team could expect from the car.

“Obviously with these cars still being quite new, with the tyres being fitted with different specifications while compared to the past, there’s still a lot you need to learn also in terms of what you can actually do with these tyres over the race distance and if doing this long stint on the hard tyres…

“Next, it was also not easy to guess how much management you had to do, so there was always a bit of management as well.”

The McLaren duo started the race on medium tyres before swapping for the hard compound rubber on Lap 20 for Norris and a lap later for Ricciardo.

They did so just prior to Sebastian Vettel crashing out of the race, which drew the Safety Car for the second time in the race.

It saw them drop to eighth and ninth, having been sixth and seventh before the pit sequence began, finally climbing to the places in which they’d finish when Fernando Alonso pitted and Max Verstappen retired with 20 laps remaining.

There was then a nervous moment in the closing stages, with Ricciardo instructed not to follow his team-mate too closely as the Brit managed an issue aboard his car.

“We have a couple issues here and there, which we had to manage,” Norris said.

“I definitely should have been a little bit higher up and on track, not in terms of position but just time.”

Seidl added: “Lando and Daniel, they had pretty much the same performance.

“I think they, in the end, extracted everything that was possible to extract [in Melbourne] from our car. And obviously, very happy with that.”

The result has moved the squad up to fourth in the constructors’ championship with 24 points from the opening three races.

Formula 1 moves on to the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix next on April 22-24.

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