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Stella: McLaren received 'urgent reality check' after Belgium shock

McLaren still took seventh at Spa, but it was an eye-opening weekend for the team.

Piastri Belgium wet
To news overview © XPBimages

McLaren received a Formula 1 "reality check" on weaknesses with its car that boss Andrea Stella feels need to be "urgently" addressed.

A huge upgrade package transformed McLaren at the Austrian Grand Prix, where it went from also rans to fighting for podiums, with Lando Norris banking consecutive runner-up spots to Max Verstappen in Britain and Hungary.

Hopes were also high at the recent Belgian - with the car having performed well on high-speed circuits, but a high downforce rear wing nubbed any chance of a podium in the dry Grand Prix after Oscar Piastri was second in the wet Sprint.

And Stella feels McLaren sharply learned its lessons.

Stella's warning

"[The Spa weekend] told us where we could do work, but we have definitely improved," Stella told media including RacingNews365.

"Independent of the rear wing choice, we would have been very strong in the second sector, even with less rear wing.

"The car improved in some areas, this was confirmed, we will take the benefit.

"But at the same time, the areas that we have not addressed yet have given us a reality check of there being more work to do, and to some extent confirm that those areas need to be addressed quite urgently.

"This urgency comes from the fact that the second race after the summer shutdown is Monza - and you can't go racing in Monza like this - so there's urgent work that needs to happen at McLaren to fix the situation."

Stella had previously conceded that the team had not had enough time to work on a low-downforce rear-wing owing to the time taken to bring the vast upgrade package to the car.


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