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McLaren

Stella confirms McLaren implemented team orders in Qatar GP

The team sealed a double podium at the Lusail Circuit and took valuable points off Aston Martin in the Constructors' Championship.

Norris Qatar
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To news overview © XPBimages

McLaren Team Principal Andrea Stella confirmed that team orders were in place after the final pit-stops of the Qatar Grand Prix, which prevented Lando Norris from overtaking Oscar Piastri.

Norris was heard over team radio saying that he was quicker than Piastri, having pitted a lap later and holding a tyre advantage on the Hards.

The Briton fought back through the field from 10th on the grid up to third, and nearly got to within a second of runner-up Piastri at the finish.

Sensing that the team could be on for a third-straight podium with Norris and another double for the team, Stella called the race after following the final round of stops.

"We consolidated the positions, after the last stop, we just told the drivers to hold position and then bring the two cars home," Stella told Sky Sports.

"[The instruction was to] stay away from the kerbs, avoid track limits, keep it simple and consolidate the podium."

Stella: We don't think about Aston Martin

McLaren is currently in a tight battle with Aston Martin for fourth in the Constructors' Championship, with them now just 11 points off after Fernando Alonso's sixth place and Lance Stroll's point-less race.

Piastri and Norris also scored a double podium in the Sprint race, with the Australian taking a maiden victory on Saturday.

Stella said the team is focused mainly on maximising its result in the races, and reminding the drivers of "racing principals."

"We do prepare always this kind of objectives, we remind our racing principles all the time in preparation for an event and before the race," he said.

"More specifically, we don't talk about Aston, we just talk about going out there and doing a good job."

When asked about Norris' message, Stella said the team prefers feedback from the driver to clarify their positions on the track.

"We always, as part of our principles, tell the drivers: 'When we give you an instruction, come back to us' - because we want to be 100% sure that we understand your position, but if we come back to you, stick with it."

F1 2023 Qatar Grand Prix RN365 News dossier

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