Stella says performance, not position, informs McLaren targets

14 Jan, 2024

McLaren is focused on unlocking performance rather than chasing a position in the standings, insists Andrea Stella. The McLaren team principal makes clear that his team’s internal approach is not dictated by arbitrary targets.

The British outfit probably carries higher expectations heading into 2024 than any other season since 2012. After several years in dormancy, McLaren awoke from its slumber last summer.

An intense programme of mid-season development propelled the MCL60 from the midfield to the front. Norris and Piastri went from fighting for points to regular podium finishers, asserting themselves as legitimate front-runners.

Much like Ferrari and Mercedes, Andrea Stella’s personnel will be expected to contend at the front. The Woking-based team might be given some leniency this season, given their largely surprising progress last season.

Still, McLaren will still be expected to maintain their momentum. Perhaps more than anyone else, they introduced a series of changes that consistently produced performance in 2023.

Provided they avoid the hiccups that plagued Aston Martin, they should again feature regularly in the top three.

Andrea Stella (ITA) McLaren Team Principal in the FIA Press Conference.
21.07.2023. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 12, Hungarian Grand Prix, Budapest, Hungary, Practice Day.
– www.xpbimages.com, EMail: requests@xpbimages.com © Copyright: XPB Images

Looking ahead to a crucial season, Andrea Stella explains the parameters used to judge success at Woking:

“I’m not going to talk about how we want to be second, first or third,” he told motorsport.com.

“Because that’s not even the language we use internally at McLaren. We don’t talk about that.

“The results take care of themselves. What we talk about is – ‘What do we need to do in terms of aerodynamic development, mechanical development, how do we improve the interaction with the tires?’

“If you ask any other team, they will give you the same answer: the projects we need to deliver.”

Formula 1 is always determined by the timing screen, so this is hardly a surprise statement. This is especially true looking ahead to 2024, where several teams are working to hunt down Red Bull.

Last year showed quite unequivocally that climbing to the front is only the first step. Staying there is the bigger challenge.

Author: Jaden Diaz-Ndisang

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