Rivals’ woes ‘show McLaren can’t be complacent’

In the round-up: McLaren team principal Andrea Stella says his team cannot afford complacency in its fight for fourth place in the championship with Aston Martin.

In brief

Even great teams trip up in F1 – Stella

McLaren has slashed its deficit to fourth-placed Aston Martin from 102 points to 11 in the last three rounds. But Stella says the team will not take its success for granted, pointing out how easily Ferrari and Mercedes missed out on significant points hauls in Qatar.

“We stay very, very grounded,” said Stella. “We saw how marginal things are. We saw what happened with Mercedes, like what happened with Ferrari who didn’t even start.”

Lewis Hamilton retired on the first lap of the Qatar Grand Prix after colliding with his Mercedes team mate George Russell, while Carlos Sainz Jnr’s Ferrari failed to start due to a fuel leak.

“This is not because they are not great teams with great drivers,” Stella continued, “this is because the sport is very marginal. The best thing you can do is just stay focussed, humble and keep delivering. And then, like I say, we will see in Abu Dhabi.”

Ricciardo back in action for Red Bull

Daniel Ricciardo returned to the cockpit of a Formula 1 yesterday, performing a demonstration run for Red Bull in Nashville at the wheel of their 2011 championship-winning RB7. He has been out of action since breaking a bone in his left hand in a crash during practice for the Dutch Grand Prix at Zandvoort.

Sztuk wins Italian F4 title with a race to spare

Kacper Sztuka clinched the Italian Formula 4 championship with his eighth win of the season at Vallelunga yesterday. McLaren junior Ugo Ugochukwu ended Sztuka’s run of six consecutive race wins in the day’s opening encounter, but Sztkuka’s later triumph ensured he can’t be overhauled in today’s final race. While Ugochuckwu has totalled 277 points over the season, the series’ rules only allow drivers to score their 16 best results. That leaves him on 270, Sztuka out of range on 298.

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