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Why McLaren won’t let British GP errors “build and destroy” its F1 progress

McLaren boss Andrea Stella says the team will not allow annoyance at its repeated victory near-misses to “build and destroy” its emergence as a force in Formula 1.

The Woking-based team was left ruing another win that slipped through its fingers at the British Grand Prix as a series of strategy mistakes opened the door for Mercedes to triumph with Lewis Hamilton.

A reluctance to double-stack Oscar Piastri during a critical switch to intermediate tyres early on effectively put the Australian out of victory contention.

Then, as the track dried in the closing stages, a slow tyre change after Lando Norris stopped long, allied to the sub-optimal choice of the soft compound when it had a new medium, compromised its chances – and saw the Briton finish not only behind Hamilton but also title rival Max Verstappen.

Norris said after the race that he “hated” this run of McLaren missing these golden opportunities to win and “having excuses for not doing a good enough job.”

While the situation is not an easy one for the team to deal with after a run of close calls on wins, Stella thinks it important the team does not get obsessed by the negatives.

Otherwise, he thinks that there would be a risk of a “build and destroy” situation where the team negates the steps forward it is making by thinking only of its failings.

Oscar Piastri, McLaren MCL38

Photo by: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images

“The near misses are, first of all, a point of view of good news, right?” said Stella, when asked about the mindset after the British GP.

“We didn’t have these kinds of near misses until 12 months ago so first of all, we need to look at the positives.

“We need to look at the fact that the team is in condition to be frustrated because we are P3 on the podium with the other driver P4. And once again, the team scored most points, right?

“So, if we don’t start from the positives, from the building side, we’re going to be the ones that build and destroy, and we’ll stay always at the same level. So, this is the responsibility for everyone.”

Stella thinks it essential that McLaren uses the ongoing disappointments as a means to take on board lessons to make itself stronger in the future, rather than waste time thinking about what might have been.

“While Lando and Oscar don’t have responsibility in some of the missed opportunities, we all, drivers included, have the responsibility to keep building,” he said.

“And when you have days in which we have a missed opportunity, it is the best opportunity to keep building.

“We are racing against teams that have won championships and they are pretty stable in terms of the people that are there – like they are even familiar with this kind of racing at the top in changeable conditions and so on.

“From this point of view, we are I think more of an under-construction site. And we take these near misses. The frustration will go very rapidly. But the opportunity will come soon. So, we need to be ready.”

Stella explained that McLaren will, as is the norm, conduct a review of everything that happened in the British Grand Prix to work out where mistakes were made and what it can change to make sure such errors are not repeated in the future.

“You review your decisions, and you see how the decision was made,” he said. “You see what information we brought to the table. Was this information used in the best possible way or not? What were the contributions from the various people?

“That’s the way you manage complex processes. And when I say complex, it is not only complex because it’s a difficult decision, but because it involves many people.

“And you need to make sure as well that, when you review, that it’s good learning for everyone involved. So, we review, learn, and we go again.”

Watch: British GP Race Review – Hamilton Returns To The Top

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