McLaren expects Norris to 'strike back' after muted Spanish GP

McLaren team boss Andreas Seidl believes Lando Norris will "strike back" after enduring a relatively low-key Spanish GP... The post McLaren expects Norris to 'strike back' after muted Spanish GP appeared first on F1i.com.

McLaren expects Norris to 'strike back' after muted Spanish GP

McLaren team boss Andreas Seidl believes Lando Norris will "strike back" after enduring a relatively low-key Spanish GP weekend.

After securing three top five finishes in the first three races of 2021, including a podium in the Emilia Romagna GP, Norris crossed the checkered flag P8 in Barcelona, two positions behind his McLaren teammate Daniel Ricciardo.

Norris enjoyed a few spirited battles inside the top ten at the Circuit de Catalunya, forming with Ferrari's Carlos Sainz and Alpine's Esteban Ocon a dueling trio that remained in close contact throughout most of the race.

Seidl believes Norris had a car that could have allowed him to qualify higher than P9 on Saturday and finish higher on race day as Ricciardo demonstrated.

But the German reckons his driver made the most of the circumstances that prevailed in Spain.

"I think there’s no need to pick him up, in the end we have to accept how this weekend went," said the McLaren F1 boss.

"Unfortunately, we didn’t manage to finish higher [in qualifying], despite having a car that had more potential. We all know about the circumstances. So it’s important also to simply move on.

"In the race, I think he did what he could do from his side, we did from the team side what we could do and it was simply not possible to do more than a P8, which is something you have to accept.

"I think you need to look also at the positive side: he could move up one position on a track where it’s simply difficult to overtake. And it’s important that we still managed to score 12 points on a race weekend where Ferrari was quite strong.

"Lando, so far, he had an incredible start into the season with incredible performances so there’s no need to pick him up. He’s fine. And I’m sure he will strike back together with us the next races."

  • Read also: Ricciardo 'happier' after enduring 'good problems' in Spanish GP

Addressing his drivers' performance in qualifying, Seidl recognized that McLaren needs to do a better job on Saturdays.

"If you look at this race weekend, I think we simply have to accept that Ferrari was strong in the race, but if you look at the whole season I think it is clear we need to try to finish higher up on Saturdays," Seidl said.

"Because in the end it makes your life on Sunday so much easier if you do your stints in free air without pressure behind, which we managed in some races already this year because of having a good start or a good first lap.

"And it brought us back to the position where we wanted to be already on Saturday in qualifying.

"It's clear, that's the goal. We want to finish higher up on Saturdays, in the end you want to finish on Saturday where potential of the car is."

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Wolff: Alpine will have first call over Ocon's future

Toto Wolff says Alpine and Esteban Ocon will need to clarify their future together before Mercedes enters any... The post Wolff: Alpine will have first call over Ocon's future appeared first on F1i.com.

Wolff: Alpine will have first call over Ocon's future

Toto Wolff says Alpine and Esteban Ocon will need to clarify their future together before Mercedes enters any discussions with the Frenchman over 2022.

Ocon is in the final season of a two-year deal with Alpine, but the 24-year-old is also contracted to Mercedes for the longer term. As such, the Frenchman is seen as a potential candidate for a seat at the Brackley squad in 2022 along with fellow Mercedes protégé George Russell.

But before considering Ocon as an option for next year, Wolff wants clarity from Alpine CEO Laurent Rossi on its future plans involving its current driver.

"It's a little bit of a weird situation, because he's been a Mercedes junior for a long time, and he's an Alpine works driver now," Wolff said last weekend in Barcelona.

"That's fact. I think the situation is good for him there. He's growing, he's putting in the performances. He's French. All that is very much the stars aligning.

"I think it needs to be Laurent and Esteban's call first, how to continue, before we start to give an opinion."

Ocon has enjoyed a strong start to his 2022 campaign . Save for the opening race in Bahrain, the Alpine charger has outqualified teammate Fernando Alonso on each occasion and finished every time in the top ten.

Wolff admitted to being "impressed" by Ocon's performance year-to-date. But the latter says he's focused first and foremost on his current commitment to Alpine.

  • Read also: Alonso impressed by 'hard working and professional' Ocon

"What I'm focusing on is to do a good job here, at Alpine," Ocon said. "I think we have to be glad with our progress, and I'm glad with the progress I've made as well this year.

"I'm focusing on delivering the best I can each single race, so you know, for sure if you perform, there will be always talks and things going on.

"But my aim is to deliver for the team that I'm racing at, and my home is here at the moment."

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