Tire deterioration hampers McLaren in Red Bull fight

Tire deterioration hampers McLaren in Red Bull fight

McLaren still does not believe it has the pace to hold off Max Verstappen if it leads the race, despite Lando Norris’ performance at the Sao Paulo Grand Prix.

Norris took pole position in the Sprint race and finished second behind Verstappen after losing out on the start, then came back in the Sunday race in second place, allowing him to attack early. With Verstappen overtaking Norris, the pair traded similar lap times throughout the race and Norris comfortably recorded fastest lap after extending his middle stint, but after finishing eight seconds clear of the race winner, team principal Andrea Stella said tire usage remained the key factor. What makes the difference is that keeping Red Bull in trouble is still unlikely.

“Hmm, no, I think at the moment the difference is not in the dirty air, I think the difference is mainly, in terms of lap times, in the tires used,” Stella said. “We have seen that with the new tires we can fight for first place, but once the tires deteriorate, it will look like Max and Red Bull, they can suffer less deterioration.

“Here the tires were degrading maybe a tenth every two laps, so it’s a significant amount of degradation – and if you can limit that, 10 laps into the job, that’s (five) tenths of a second. So I think that’s where they excel at Right now, while we think the difference has been made, there’s not much we can do with this car.

“The car has improved with the Singapore upgrade, in terms of tire management, but not enough to be competitive – especially when the degradation is as high as in Brazil.” “We saw some cars deteriorate a lot, like Mercedes and Ferrari.”

But Stella admits there are no guarantees on how Verstappen will perform if he has to try to find a way past Norris, so McLaren went more aggressive at Interlagos on Sunday to try and present a different challenge.

“Certainly in terms of our style, especially after the red flag, we wanted to win it – so we initially put together our best soft kit, so we decided to start with a new kit so we could try to take the lead. From there we put Verstappen in an unusual position and see what We can do it.

“We couldn’t take the lead at the start, we came very close to doing it on track, but then our car started to overheat and we needed to make sure we achieved the target lap – because Alonso wasn’t.” Far and away, at that point it looked like he could stay with us, but we definitely gave our best in the first period.

“I think after that, Verstappen again had enough of the lead to actually manage the situation. Every time we tried to get a little closer, there were a few laps in the second stint where it looked like we could do it, and then he put together a couple of huge laps. “The first period there wasn’t much we could do.”

    (Marks for translation) Formula 1 

You may also like...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *