Having secured the second-runner-up position in the 2020 Formula 1 constructor's standings, the McLaren team will be looking to secure their position as F1's third quickest team in 2021. Their team principal Andreas Siedl however, is wary of the threat posed by Ferrari.
Ferrari who in 2020 finished a lowely sixth in the team standings have seen a bit of resurgence in their performance especially with the updagrades they made to their new power-unit. The team brought both their cars home in the points, with Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz finishing sixth and seventh respectively. Sandwiched between them was McLaren's Daniel Ricciardo who towards the end was being caught by Sainz.
Siedl is aware of the pace of Ferrari's SF21 with the German expecting some strong competition in the battle for third.
"We said we never underestimated the ability of a team like Ferrari with all their history and all their resources and experience to come back quickly, so it’s no surprise, and they have two great drivers as well," Seidl said in a post race press conference.
"Definitely with everything I’ve seen at the [pre-season] test and also here on Friday and Saturday and today, shows that Ferrari have made a big step forward compared to last year, which is not unexpected.
"[Mclaren is] simply looking forward to battle with Ferrari again this year, how they play out. It’s simply too early to say but yeah, definitely looking forward to battling this great team."
The battle between Ferrari and McLaren will represent a fight similar to the one that played out between the Woking-based team and the team formerly known as Racing Point in 2020. The historic significance of each team will only add to the drama of what could prove to be one of the more intriguing subplots of the 2021 season.