RACE DEBRIEF

    The first triple header of the season will present teams up and down the grid with a complex – and potentially nerve-wracking – set of logistical challenges, with spare parts especially at a premium. And McLaren Team Principal Andreas Seidl has called on his squad to be at the top of their game operationally as F1 prepares for three weeks of back-to-back racing.

    McLaren have enjoyed a strong start to their 2021, taking two podiums and sitting fourth in the constructors’ standings, two points behind Ferrari after the Scuderia claimed P3 in the championship following the Azerbaijan Grand Prix. But with McLaren now approaching a crucial triple header, Seidl said the team needed to be as sharp off the track as they have been on it to make the most of the French, Styrian and Austrian Grands Prix.

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    “After street circuits in Monaco and Baku, our attention now turns towards the first triple header of the season with the first race in France,” said Seidl. “As a team, we know what to expect from the demands of a triple header and we’re well prepared for the task at hand.

    “Keeping strong momentum operationally, with our reliability and the management of spare parts, is a priority to overcome the unique challenges that back-to-back races present.”

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    Seidl's McLaren team are locked in a close battle with Ferrari

    Despite McLaren losing ground in the constructors’ fight to Ferrari last time out, meanwhile, Seidl had called the Baku result “damage limitation” for McLaren, as Ferrari outscored the team by just four points in the Azerbaijan Grand Prix despite starting with a car on pole and in fifth (as Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo lined up P9 and P13 on the grid).

    But ahead of the French Grand Prix, Seidl reiterated that he wanted to see McLaren performing better on Saturdays in order to help out their Sundays.

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    “After taking the time to analyse and understand the data from Baku, it’s clear that we still need to continue to take steps forward as a team and extract the most out of our package as we compete in a very close battle with our competitors,” said Seidl.

    “The Circuit Paul Ricard is a different style of track compared to previous races and therefore it’s difficult to understand the pecking order ahead of the weekend. Our priority going forward is to qualify well in order to put ourselves in the best position possible to score the most points on Sundays. We remain focused and determined to once again fight for good points this weekend.”

    2021

    Constructors' standings after Baku

    POSITION POINTS
    1 Red Bull Racing Red Bull Racing Red Bull Racing 174
    2 Mercedes Mercedes Mercedes 148
    3 Ferrari Ferrari Ferrari 94
    4 McLaren McLaren McLaren 92
    5 AlphaTauri AlphaTauri AlphaTauri 39