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McLaren

McLaren boss in awe at 'just amazing' Verstappen

McLaren team principal Andrea Stella has been left stunned by Max Verstappen's consistent starts.

Verstappen Norris Imola
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McLaren team principal Andrea Stella has described Max Verstappen's stunning launches as "just amazing", with the Dutchman always managing to make a perfect getaway. 

Verstappen on almost every occasion leads into the first corner after starting from pole, as a result of his traditionally flawless starts. 

This was on display once again last weekend at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, where Lando Norris could not get past the reigning world champion into the first corner. 

Leading into the first corner has played a huge part in Verstappen and Red Bull's recent success, as the Dutch driver has then been able to build an immediate advantage. 

Getting ahead of the 26-year-old in the first corner is critical to anyone's chances of victory, although Stella does not believe there is any software change which could make McLaren's starts better than Verstappen and Red Bull's.

"No, I think if we look at Verstappen's consistent launches, it's just amazing," Stella told select media including RacingNews365

"It's true he scores pole position, but you rarely see him losing the first position at the first corner. Gaining this consistency in launches, is again, the result of good work. 

"I say often how much I admire the fact that they can win so consistently, because there's so many ways in which things can go wrong."

Verstappen's incredible 'quality'

McLaren have recent experience of things going wrong with its operation, as Oscar Piastri received a three-place grid penalty after qualifying second. 

The British outfit failed to inform the Australian soon enough that Kevin Magnussen was fast approaching, resulting in the young driver impeding the Dane.

Stella outlines this example as McLaren not quite being on Red Bull's operational level just yet, although in terms of race starts, that is just as much down to Verstappen's talent. 

"We proved yesterday with a mistake in qualifying with our operations," Stella continued. "But even achieving this level of consistency in launches, this is the quality of the driver executing the launch. 

"It's tyre preparation, it's definitely having a good engine in acceleration phase, then you can gain a little bit of an advantage for instance, in reaction time, like Lando might have done today.

"But if you have such a consistent launch, like Verstappen has, then you don't sort of gain the position. So it shows that you need to do a good job all around to be successful. And that's what we are trying to do."

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