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McLaren explain reason behind step forward in Saudi Arabia

Following a difficult weekend at the Bahrain Grand Prix, McLaren looked to have made progress one week later in Saudi Arabia. Team boss Andreas Seidl has given an insight into how the outfit managed this improvement.

McLaren have explained why they seemed to have taken such a step forward at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix following their struggles one week earlier in Bahrain. It was a challenging start to the season for the Woking-based squad, with Daniel Ricciardo qualifying down in P18 in Bahrain, with Lando Norris just ahead in 13th. The pair finished the race in 14th and 15th respectively. However, there was an improvement in their fortunes in Jeddah, where Norris and Ricciardo lined up P11 and P12 on the grid. Whilst Ricciardo was forced to retire from the Grand Prix due to mechanical issues, Norris scored the outfit's first points of the year by ending the day in seventh place.

Seidl reveals reasons behind step up in performance

Team Principal Andreas Seidl was happy to see the progress that had been made in Saudi Arabia, though admits that it is still not where the squad want to be. "Obviously, [I am] pleased to see that we could make a step forward compared to the previous race weekend [in Bahrain]," Seidl told media including RacingNews365.com . "At the same time, obviously that's not where we want to be in the end. But I think, after accepting the situation we have seen for us in Bahrain, [it] is important now to continuously move forward." Seidl believes that there are two reasons behind McLaren's step forward, with one of these being that they have learned from their recent struggles, which started with brake issues in pre-season testing. He explained: "I guess with learning a lot over the course of the weekend in Bahrain, [and] after the challenging test we had, after missing out on a lot of laps there, I think we simply could apply some of these learnings for this weekend here, which helped us to have a lot of a smoother weekend as well. "A lot less firefighting, which I think contributed to a better result."

Progress in Saudi wouldn't change Bahrain result

However, Seidl thinks that the second cause of the team's better performance in Saudi Arabia was simply that the Jeddah Corniche Circuit suited the MCL36 better than the Bahrain International Circuit. "We [have] the same car here [in Saudi Arabia] as we did in Bahrain," Seidl said. "I think the track simply suits our car [and] our current package better, and I think these [factors] together allowed us to make the step forward, and puts us in the position to hopefully fight for points again." This improvement was also vital for the motivation of the squad, according to Seidl. "It's important for the morale of the team, to see that we have already [had] a better weekend here [in Saudi Arabia], and [it motivates the team] back home in order to keep pushing hard, to bring even more performance now," he added.

RESULTS 2024 F1 pre-season testing - Day 2