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McLaren not surprised by Ferrari resurgence – and looking forward to battle ahead

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BAHRAIN, BAHRAIN - MARCH 28: Charles Leclerc of Monaco driving the (16) Scuderia Ferrari SF21 leads

It’s not just the Red Bull versus Mercedes battle that has got F1 fans talking after the Bahrain Grand Prix, but Ferrari’s resurgence too – and McLaren Team Principal Andreas Seidl said he’s relishing a fight for midfield supremacy against the Scuderia this season.

McLaren may be sitting pretty in third in the championship with 18 points from Bahrain, but right on their tails are the crimson Ferraris of Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz – who finished sixth and eighth respectively on Sunday.

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“Definitely with everything I’ve seen at the [pre-season] test and also here on Friday and Saturday and today, shows that Ferrari have made a big step forward compared to last year, which is not unexpected,” said the McLaren Team Principal after Sunday's race.

There had been a question mark over Ferrari’s pace in the lead-up to 2021, as the team struggled last season as a combination of high drag and low top speed on the SF1000 car saw them finish down in sixth in the 2020 championship.

Lando Norris, McLaren MCL35M, leads Daniel Ricciardo, McLaren MCL35M
front

Lando Norris finished fourth and Daniel Ricciardo seventh in Bahrain, but the Ferrari threat looms

However, Seidl insisted he always expected Ferrari to bounce back.

“We said we never underestimated the ability of a team like Ferrari with all their history and all their resources and experience to come back quickly, so it’s no surprise, and they have two great drivers as well,” he said.

“[We’re] simply looking forward to battle with Ferrari again this year, how they play out. It’s simply too early to say but yeah, definitely looking forward to battling this great team,” he concluded.

Ferrari head home for the next race as Imola hosts the second round of the 2021 World Championship, in a contest set-up superbly by Sakhir’s season-opening race.

HIGHLIGHTS: Watch all the action from the Bahrain GP as the fight for victory went down to the last lap

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