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McLaren conscious of 'unique challenge' ahead

McLaren team principal Andrea Stella feels the MCL38 is now able to perform well across a range of tracks, but cautions the Spanish GP will still be a "unique challenge" for the team.

Andrea Stella
To news overview © XPBimages

McLaren team principal Andrea Stella believes Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri can be competitive week-in-week-out after the successful implementation of its updates package.

The 53-year-old has, however, cautioned that the Woking squad faces a "unique challenge" at the Spanish Grand Prix.

The Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya is well-trodden track for the teams, as it long held pre-season testing. With its mix of corner profiles, it provides a good opportunity to assess performance comprehensively - and it will expose underlying weaknesses, providing a marker for the current pecking order.

McLaren took a step forward at the Miami Grand Prix with its suite of upgrades and has been competitive since. In doing so, it has stolen a march in the development race, but Stella is aware work must be done to retain that advantage.

“While we’re confident that the MCL38 can perform on merit at different types of tracks, the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya will still offer a unique challenge," he said ahead of the Spanish Grand Prix.

"More teams are bringing upgrades, so it’s important for us to keep our focus and make every weekend count.”

McLaren 'moving in the right direction'

Lead driver Lando Norris took his maiden F1 victory in Miami, and has followed that result up with two second-place finishes in the subsequent three rounds - coming close to going back-to-back in Imola.

Max Verstappen was able to hold him off on that occasion and it was another tight fight between the pair in Montreal.

"We were close to another win [at the Canadian Grand Prix], but I’m happy to get another podium and important points for the team," Norris said reflecting on the weekend at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, before turning his attention to the positive impact McLaren's hard work has had thus far.

"It’s a great place to be in, fighting for wins, and it makes me really excited for the rest of the season," the 24-year-old added.

"We know we’ve got a little bit of work to do to ensure we’re winning more regularly, but we’re moving in the right direction."

Also interesting:

Join Ian Parkes, Samuel Coop and Nick Golding in the latest episode of the RacingNews365 podcast, looking ahead to this weekend's Spanish Grand Prix. 

The trio discuss how significant this weekend is in the title fight, whether Red Bull's advantage will return and if Andrea Kimi Antonelli will now make his F1 debut at just 17 years old. Much, much more is also discussed! 

Rather watch then listen to our podcast? Click here.

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