January 8, 2023

McLaren set for boost in Ferrari F1 fight with Hungarian GP upgrades

McLaren is aiming to repeat its feat of finishing third in the teams’ standings from last year, but faces stern competition in the form of Ferrari.

Charles Leclerc’s charge to second place in the British Grand Prix helped Ferrari cut the gap to McLaren in the championship down to 15 points, having come within three laps of winning the grand prix.

Leclerc ultimately crossed the line 25 seconds clear of leading McLaren driver Lando Norris, who took fourth ahead of team-mate Daniel Ricciardo.

It marked a big turnaround in Ferrari’s form after both Leclerc and team-mate Carlos Sainz Jr had struggled with tyre management in France last month, breathing added life into the scrap for third.

But McLaren F1 chief Andreas Seidl revealed after the race that the team is planning to bring some new parts for its MCL35M car to next weekend’s Hungarian Grand Prix in Budapest, boosting its hopes.

“We are bringing some upgrades to Hungary for our car in order to make sure we keep this battle up,” said Seidl.

“It is great for us that we are in P3 in the constructors’ championship, and after 10 races, 163 points is again a big step forward for us compared to last year.

“So I am very happy for that.”

At the same point last year, McLaren had scored 106 points and one fewer podium than it has picked up so far in 2021.

The upswing in form has come against increased competition in the fight for third through a stronger Ferrari squad, which is recovering from its worst season in 40 years in 2020.

Seidl said that he was “not surprised” by Ferrari’s performance at Silverstone, nor the progress that it has appeared to make across the campaign so far.

“I am also not surprised by the steps they can make in a season, as it is a strong team with two strong drivers,” Seidl said.

“They also have all of the resources that they need in order to react to problems. They have the team with the experience to react to the problems so it is not a surprise.

“It will be a very tough battle until the end of the season.”

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