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McLaren

Stella highlights 'interesting' F1 pecking order situation

McLaren Team Principal Andrea Stella has one eye on the pecking order for next year as the gaps this past season appeared very close at times.

Norris Abu Dhabi
Article
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Andrea Stella believes that Formula 1 finds itself in an “interesting” position regarding its pecking order.

Although Red Bull ran away with the lead of both the Drivers' and Constructors' Championships this year, there were close battles for other positions behind.

Close qualifying gaps were prominent throughout the year with the field often separated by fine margins over one lap.

Stella asserted that the continued development of cars throughout the season also closed the gaps in race pace by the end of the season.

“Mercedes and Ferrari, they had a little bit more than us in the race [in Abu Dhabi],” Stella told media including RacingNews365.com.

“And also, we can see that not only in the top four or five teams is very close, but now, pretty much everyone is [close].

“In the first stint, when we were trying to find gaps, to pit basically, there were no gaps, because it was a compact group of cars, that were proceeding together.

“So that's actually a very interesting position for Formula 1 to be in. Let’s see are things will change going into next season.”

Stella reflects on McLaren's season

Reflecting on McLaren's campaign, Stella separated the year into three parts as it began the campaign off the pace before recovering to consistent podium-contending form.

“The way I sort of structure the season is we started uncompetitive,” he said.

“We took a step in Austria and another step in Singapore. In the final phase of the season, we have been steady from a development point of view.

“But if we look at the file we receive with everyone's upgrades, in this space we’ve been steady, many cars have brought upgrades, some of which have been quite successful.

“It’s not like we have degraded our performance, simply some other cars have closed the gap on us or even overtaken us.

“If we want to enjoy some of the results we have enjoyed in this third phase after Singapore we do have to make a further step forward are going on to next season.”

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