Andrea Stella says it is a collective work for McLaren improvements in F1 2023, as he adds on the targets and Hungarian GP updates.
After a slow start to its campaign in F1 2023, McLaren surprised everyone with its pace in British GP with a second and fourth place finish which pushed them over Alpine in the standings. While they are a bit off Aston Martin and Ferrari, but the pace looked strong.
The results hasn’t come by just the promotion of Stella as he says. He credits the whole team and the leadership for the quick push to bring the changes and updates. He feels the team work and proper communication and coordination is key.
In terms of the results changing the perception of the car, Stella feels it is true because they didn’t know if the race pace will be as good as they saw in Silverstone when compared to its immediate rivals. This won’t change their approach or targets as such.
They will keep a realistic target for the rest of the year as they don’t wish to ride high and then falter. The updates will continue to come in Hungarian GP as well, but it will now be smaller ones in the races to come to improve the race pace.
Done well since taking over –
Stella: “My focus is just to be doing the right things. Just focus on performance. Focus on creating a vision for the team. Making sure that everyone understands what the vision is, what the direction is. But the most important thing, you don’t do these things alone. You know, like, I’ve been very, very well supported. And even the collaboration with Zak has been incredibly close and strategic. So it will be a mistake to say, like, I, or you, it’s a group work, even when it comes to the leadership, you know. The Formula One team is too complex to think that somebody alone can turn a situation around, you obviously have to recognise who are the people that should be part of this journey. And also, when you mentioned, you know, the technical director and so on, it’s not about the person at all.
“We wanted to establish a different model, from a technical point of view, based on distributing the aerodynamic, the concept and performance, and the engineering and design function in three different areas. This is just a different way of working, it doesn’t have to do with somebody in particular, if you see I just Oh, we as a leadership group, we wanted to focus on aerodynamics, focus on performance and concept, focus on engineering and design. And this requires a bit more of a distributed model when it comes to the technical organisation. So that was the rationale. And like I say, I really want to praise that if we talk about the leadership that contributed to the change, I want to praise all the people that work with me, and, Piers Thynee the Chief Operating Officer, Daniel Gallo, a chief people officer, and then certainly all these under the coordination and the strategic input from Zak. So teamwork.”
British GP weekend changing the perception –
Stella: “Well, clearly the indications from the race are quite encouraging. We were surprised ourselves in the first stint to be able to keep our competitors like Ferrari and Mercedes behind. We thought they will be a problem for us in terms of pace. We have to acknowledge that the improvement seems to be genuine even in terms of race pace. As I keep reminding, we are in a circuit with high speed corners, and actually here in Silverstone some of the high speed corners appear in the race while they are flat in qualifying. Again, it gives a bit of a premium to this track if you are competitive in high speed – in the race, possibly even more than in qualifying. At the same time, it was cold conditions. I keep being prudent that we may be flattering a bit the situation thanks to these conditions, but I think it’s fair to acknowledge that the car seems to be more competitive in the race as well.”
Targets for remainder of the season –
Stella: “Like I say, while you can have targets as an element of discussion, actually, it doesn’t necessarily change your approach. Our approach was always going to be, we need to push as hard as possible in terms of development, but with a logic with clear direction, and then we will see where we end up. Once we started to develop a car, we saw that the rate of development meant our kind of reasonable expectation was that by the end of the season, we could fight with the four quickest teams. That was what we thought was possible. So is, in a way, a bit of a surprise that we find ourself in this condition by now, but we will see how things unfold later. And obviously, our expectation is for McLaren to be able to compete for podiums in the future, next season. And for victories in the following season. If you want this is kind of the long term vision. But like I say, you don’t deliver based on visions you deliver on based on the facts that you actually bring to the car. And that’s our focus.”
Hungarian GP updates –
Stella: “So for Hungary, we have some further updates that will help more from the point of view of trying to improve the race pace. These will be available to both drivers. And by Hungary, we don’t expect that the specification of the car will not be aligned between Oscar and Lando. Like any other team, we will carry on delivering some upgrades to the following races. And this is also thanks to the fact that once we started redesigning the car, now we kind of unlocked performance and through iterations, we keep seeing the aerodynamic development being quite effective. So you obviously as soon as you see that a project is mature enough to deliver, you press the go button and you go, so there will be some more stuff coming even after Hungary.”
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