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McLaren sees 'gap missing' before wins challenge is possibility

The team has managed to turn their MCL60 into a podium contender, but it will take a lot more to challenge for wins on merit.

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McLaren Team Principal Andrea Stella believes there is a "gap missing" before it can start to challenge for race wins.

The team has claimed three podiums, including a Sprint race podium, so far in 2023 and have regularly shown they have the pace to compete among the teams closest to Red Bull.

This was largely due to the first major update it brought to the car at the Austrian Grand Prix, which was followed up with improvements at Silverstone and the Hungaroring.

When asked if it has set its sights set on turning the MCL60 into a race winner, Stella told media, including RacingNews365: "When we see the gap that is still missing to be able to fight for victories, you would need at least another big development like the one we introduced at Austria.

"This is at the moment, not in the numbers of what we will be delivering trackside in the next couple of places.

"I would hope that we could add another few tenths, but this won't be enough to take any challenge for victories. Hopefully it will allow us to lean on podiums a few times before the end of the season."

Updates not impacted by cost cap

Several teams were caught out with bringing updates to their cars in the latter part of the season by the cost cap, including Ferrari who stopped development early.

McLaren has started to break ground on the development of the 2024 car, and Stella is confident it will not impact the 2023 season.

"It's not budget cap restricted, it's more about time," said Stella.

"When I talk about time, at some stage we need to start working on next year's car.

"That was what was set in the timeline to say 'We stop here' in terms of development for this year's car, but these developments are not budget cap restricted."

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