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Andrea Stella

McLaren assess pecking order position after Miami win

Lando Norris claimed his first maiden grand prix win in Miami last weekend as he out-paced Red Bull's Max Verstappen en route to the chequered flag.

Norris Miami
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McLaren team principal Andrea Stella has denied his squad now possesses the pace to consistently challenge Red Bull this season.

The Woking-based squad took its first Formula 1 race victory of the year in Miami last weekend with Lando Norris besting Max Verstappen to the chequered flag.

After extending his opening stint, Norris pitted under a safety car and re-emerged in the lead before extending the gap to his rivals behind before securing his maiden grand prix win.

McLaren introduced a major upgrade package at the event on Norris' car while team-mate Oscar Piastri was fitted with roughly half of the new parts.

However, Stella was coy over the prospect of offering a consistent challenge to the reigning world champions this season.

“I think, yes, we improved the car, we know in the numbers how much we improved it and it’s material - you should see it in lap time,” Stella told media including RacingNews365.

“But this race for Red Bull, it was a little bit of a struggle.

“So before we say the pace we saw today is a representation of the future, I’m not going to put my signature on this statement.”

Another upgrade package needed

McLaren has efficiently fitted key upgrades to its car over the last year as it aims to return to front-running competition.

However, Stella outlined that it will need to introduce another major package if it wishes to battle Red Bull.

“We take this positive, we take this encouragement, if anything it’s even more energy to develop possibly even faster than what we're doing.

“But in my view, if you want to consistently fight Red Bull, we need to deliver another package like the one that we have delivered here.

“Before in Japan, we were six-tenths away in qualifying from Red Bull. In China, again, we were a few tenths away.

“It would be completely unrealistic to think that what we're seeing here is the updated picture of competitiveness. I think here, Red Bull didn't get the most out of the package.”

Also interesting:

Join RacingNews365's Ian Parkes and Nick Golding as they are joined by ex-Formula 1 team principal Otmar Szafnauer to discuss the 'silliest of silly seasons' as well as McLaren and Lando Norris' victory at the Miami Grand Prix.

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