Portugal GP 2021 - McLaren F1 preview
“Being on the podium for the second time in Formula 1 was an amazing feeling, but I couldn’t have done it without every single person in the team. Everyone at track and the factory continues to go above and beyond to give us the best possible chance every weekend. The result shows the progress we’re making to compete closer towards the front of the grid, but we know not every race will go in our favour. We just need to keep our head down and look to improve in all areas to find that extra tenth that can give us the edge against strong competition. I think Imola really showed us that we need to try and turn every opportunity into an advantage with the fight being so close.
“I’m glad we get to return to Portugal this weekend as it was a circuit that added something different to last year’s calendar. The elevation changes at this track make it a demanding drive with several blind corners. Everyone was struggling for grip there last year with the track being recently resurfaced, so it’ll be interesting to see what it’s like this weekend. Hopefully we’ll be able to push the car a bit more this time around.”
“Up next is Portimão and I’m eager to get back in the car. Racing there is a lot of fun with the track having some unique elements that you don’t see at every race on the calendar. There’s a good mixture of high and low-speed corners with various changes in elevation that make it an exciting challenge. Coming out of some of the turns, you can really feel your stomach drop with the steep changes in gradient.
“This weekend, I want to keep building on the progress we’ve made in the first two races and put what we learned at Imola into practice. We’ve definitely started the season on the right foot by scoring good points for the Constructors’ Championship, so I can’t be too disappointed on that front. There are a few elements I’m still trying to get to grips with which is only going to get better with more time behind the wheel. Seeing Lando achieve a podium showed the potential of the car which is super motivating. We’re only three races in and there’s a lot more to come from me, so let’s keep it going.”
Andreas Seidl - Team Principal
“This weekend sees us start the first double-header of the season as we prepare to go racing in Portugal then Spain. Portimão was a welcome addition to the calendar last year and it’s great to be returning to race there again. Back-to-back events provide a unique set of challenges for the team that we’re well prepared for. Reliability, operational effectiveness and the management of spare parts are crucial to the success of these weekends.
“Imola again provided confirmation of the step forward we’ve made as a team, which is encouraging to see. Both drivers are doing a good job on-track and have scored some important points for the Constructors’ Championship over the first two races. It’s important that we keep the positive momentum and energy up. There’s still a lot of work to do as we look to keep pushing and deliver upgrades that are in the pipeline. We also need to continue to maximise any opportunities that present themselves and make the right decisions to stay in the mix. Every single member of the team is dedicated to giving our competition a hard time out on track. We remain focused and are ready to go again this weekend.”
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