Andrea Stella has sought to cool any heightened expectations of McLaren heading into the new season, and has suggested that their year could depends on early-season upgrades. Ahead of the launch of McLaren's 2023 car, the MCL60, Team Principal Stella has delivered a cautious target for the upcoming season, with the team aiming to improve on their fifth-placed finish in the Constructors' Championship. When asked about their season goals, Stella alluded to McLaren aiming to make big improvements partway through the year. "I think it's fair to say that over the course of the season we would like to establish yourself as part of the top four," Stella told media, including RacingNews365.com . "We know realistically that with the [existing] top three teams, this may mean potentially just being the fourth best car. Like I say, 'over the course of the season'. In the very short term, we are realistic [about performance]. "There are good developments already in the pipeline, that should land trackside very soon in the season, these should allow us to take a decent step forward. "We are not naïve, we know that pretty much every team will be saying the same about having good developments."
Stella: We realised late design directions
When quizzed about the low key nature of his season verdict, Stella admitted that the team were acting on a late change in design direction, which prompted him to "invoke realism". "It's always difficult to translate what you see over the winter, in terms of development, into where you're going to be in terms of pecking order," added Stella. "I think while we are happy with the development of the car in the most of the areas, there are some areas where we kind of realised some really strong directions a little late through development. "We have not necessarily been able to capitalise on these directions in a very short term, and that's why also I talked about the developments coming for just after the start of the season. "In this sense, I just invoke realism."