RACE DEBRIEF

    Andreas Seidl was delighted with McLaren's strong showing at the season opener in Bahrain as they brought home both cars in the points – but just as encouraging to the team boss was the fact that they looked to have cut the gap to the front-runners since last year.

    Lando Norris’s P4 finish was bolstered by P7 for new team mate Daniel Ricciardo in Bahrain, with the pair bringing in a total of 18 points – six more than Ferrari – to hit the ground running. Team Principal Seidl said this is “exactly” what the team were looking for after a brief winter of preparation.

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    “First of all, I was very happy with the outcome of today’s race, finishing the first race of the season in P4 and P7 was yeah, exactly what we were looking for and what we wanted to have for the first race,” he said on Sunday.

    Furthermore, that Norris finished just over 45 seconds away from winner Lewis Hamilton was another bonus for Seidl, cementing the team’s hopes of securing P3 in the constructors' championship – and their long-term hopes of battling the championship leaders.

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    Seidl (R) and McLaren CEO Zak Brown (L) hope to see McLaren make it back to the top of the grid soon

    “Double points for the constructors’ championship yeah was encouraging to see,” he continued.

    “Looking at Lando’s race, we had the third best car, it was also encouraging to see that when you looked at the gap between Lando and Lewis [Hamilton], it was only about 45 seconds which again shows that we have made a good step forward compared to these top guys over the winter which is key to make these steps to get back to the front in the future."

    Seidl added that a new crucial part of McLaren’s car for 2021 was working exactly as expected – the new Mercedes power unit helping McLaren have a trouble-free first weekend of the season.

    READ MORE: The brilliant Bahrain battle between Hamilton and Verstappen shows we could be in for an epic season

    “One thing I want to say which is very encouraging is all the guys from Mercedes, using their power unit, we are through our first race weekend together without any issues is yeah is great so a big thanks,” he concluded.