McLaren team principal Andreas Seidl says the team and its driver Lando Norris will bounce back from the disappointment of losing victory in last weekend’s Russian Grand Prix.
Norris led much of the race and was ahead with three laps to go when he slid off in heavy rain, having decided against pitting to change his slick tyres. Although Seidl admitted Norris had been “close to something really big”, he believes his driver will learn from the experience.
“I think it will make him and the team stronger because it’s these moments where you learn most as a team,” said Seidl. “It’s always easy when everything goes to plan. At the moment, it is a big disappointment and an opportunity to learn in order to do it better as a team together with Lando next time around.
“He has long enough in that sport and it’s not different in the junior categories where you know it’s part of the sport that things like this happen – big disappointments, especially when you are so close to something really big. But I think he has enough experience in the team as well in order to come back out of this even stronger.”
McLaren is enjoying its most competitive season for years, having ended a win-less streak which dated back to 2012 at the previous round. Seidl said last weekend’s setback was a reminder to “stay humble” as they close the gap to the front-runners.
“I see us simply being in the middle of a journey of getting back to the front in Formula 1. We have a clear plan in place of what we need to make in terms of steps on the infrastructure side, the organisational side, on the cultural side, in order to make these next steps to battle the teams in front of us at each race weekend.
“Part of this journey is also that you have to accept that it doesn’t always go onwards and upwards. It’s a normal part of the sport that you have days like this which are obviously a big disappointment.
“It’s also an opportunity to stay humble, to stay with both feet on the ground, which is important in this sport, to keep the respect up for all the competitors as well and to simply keep keep learning. And again, with everything that I’m seeing, the team, I’m very, very happy and very confident that once we have everything in place that we need on our journey we will be in a position to fight Red Bull and Mercedes again regularly.
“Obviously it’s great to see that already now, occasionally, depending on the tracks as well, we’re actually in position to fight for pole positions and for a race win.”
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