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McLaren aims to continue “closing the gap to the top” as new season approaches

With the season opening Bahrain Grand Prix just days away, McLaren F1 Team has outlined their hopes and goals for the coming season. As one of 2021’s leading mid-field teams– finishing 4th in the Constructors’ Championship– the team in papaya is looking to make another step forward in 2022. 

“After a busy winter, we’re kicking off another exciting season of Formula 1 and the team is ready to go racing under the new regulations. Our aim is to continue to build on our progress from 2021, further closing the gap to the top and bringing the fight to our competitors,” Team Principal Andreas Seidl said.

Seidl said the team is preparing for the first race by putting in effort to gain further understanding of the car and resolving the issues met during testing. 

“The entire team and our colleagues at Mercedes HPP have worked incredibly hard to build a car under new regulations and delivered a good platform to start the season. We continue to understand the car after a mixed pre-season test and the team are working hard to address the issue we encountered, in preparation for the first race.”

Lando Norris, entering his fourth season in F1, is thrilled to start racing this weekend, and is optimistic in spite of a “tricky” test. 

“I can’t wait to get jump back into the MCL36 and go racing. We’re coming off a tricky test in Bahrain, but I’m feeling positive for the season ahead. The team has been working incredibly hard to address the issues we had at testing and make sure we’re ready to battle it out on track this weekend.”  

“I can’t wait for the challenge ahead.”

– Lando Norris

Claiming four podiums and a career-best finish of 2nd place in last year, Norris had a successful and notably consistent 2021 season. Looking ahead to 2022, he is uncertain about how the grid order will play out, but expects close competition. 

“I’m really looking forward to the close racing and exciting battles that the new regulations will bring. I’m not sure what the order will be but it’s going to be a close fight heading into the first qualifying session of the year and across the entire season. I can’t wait for the challenge ahead.”

The team announced today that Daniel Ricciardo has tested negative for COVID-19 and is cleared to race this weekend. Having missed out on running in last week’s test due to his illness, Ricciardo said that he wants to make the most of this weekend’s free practice sessions in order to compensate for missed track time. 

“I’m glad to be back, feeling better and ready for the Bahrain Grand Prix and season ahead. I was disappointed to not be in the car last week but despite being unwell, I’ve been able to keep in touch with the team, chat to Lando about the car and prepare as best as I can for the race weekend. I want to maximise the Free Practice sessions to better understand the car and fine tune everything ready for qualifying and lights out on Sunday. It’s hard to know where we’ll be on the grid but it’s going to be competitive and I’m hungry to get back in the car and go racing.”  

“Heading into my second year with team, I feel more confident and comfortable than ever.”

– Daniel Ricciardo

The Australian driver looks to improve on his somewhat turbulent first year at McLaren to help bring the team to the next level. 

“Heading into my second year with team, I feel more confident and comfortable than ever. I’m determined to build on last year’s performance and use everything the team and I learned from the highs and lows to make this season one of our best.” 

In line with his teammate, Ricciardo is excited about the battles that the new generation of cars is expected to bring. 

“A new iteration of cars is something I’m no stranger to and comes with a lot of excitement. I’m looking forward to the battles out on track with these new cars, particularly at Bahrain with its overtaking opportunities. Let’s get some great results for the team!”

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