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McLaren Driver Explains Why His Team Can Edge Past Ferrari in Development Game

Nischay Rathore

McLaren Driver Explains Why His Team Can Edge Past Ferrari in Development Game

Ferrari, until the Japanese GP, has arguably stationed itself as the second-fastest team. McLaren is close behind, striving to take over with the help of development plans. The ambition is not a far-fetched one for the Woking-based outfit, according to Sam Bird. The Formula E driver went on to predict that McLaren’s upgrades will be more efficient than Ferrari’s. Speaking on the latest episode of BBC’s F1: Chequered Flag podcast, Bird said,

“When we talk about the McLaren v Ferrari with regards to the upgrades, I quite fancy McLaren doing maybe a better job. The reason why is that, I feel like if you take last year, for example, McLaren had a clear view of where they needed to take their car. And they had a very methodical approach. When they brought upgrades, they worked. When Ferrari tend to bring upgrades, I feel like it’s a bit more scattered and they don’t always necessarily improve the car or make the improvements that they want.”

McLaren indeed turned its fortunes around through the course of the 2023 season. The Woking-based squad failed to meet deadlines on the car and had to field an undercooked car at the start of the campaign.

However, with each upgrade package, the MCL60 became quicker and more stable in the corners. By the end of the season, McLaren emerged as the fastest behind Red Bull, with Lando Norris being a podium regular.

2024 presents a different picture, though. Ferrari is not just arguably the second-fastest team but has also managed to significantly close the gap to Red Bull. On certain tracks, their drivers have given a tough fight to Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez as well.

McLaren will aim to replace Ferrari as the second-fastest team in Miami, though. That is because the American race will mark the first major upgrade package they will introduce. Until now, the Papaya team has only brought in minor changes.

McLaren successfully tackles its weakness

McLaren, until the Chinese GP, faced two major issues with its car. One of those is the speed in longer and slower corners. The other is a lack of straight-line speed in race settings.

Given the way they have performed until now during the Chinese GP weekend, the issue of speed in longer and slower corners seems to have been fixed. That is what the qualifying and sprint qualifying results suggest.

However, we are yet to see if they have managed to tackle the race pace issue. With the main race just a few hours away, Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri will hope that the team have found solutions to tackle their race pace issues. If they don’t, then the engineers in Woking will have another task at hand while planning the Miami upgrade package.

Norris in particular will hope to deliver a better performance during the Grand Prix, having suffered a heartbreak when he threw away a potential win during the sprint race from pole position. The biggest challenge for him will remain constant, though. That is Red Bull and Max Verstappen.

Post Edited By:Vidit Dhawan

About the author

Nischay Rathore

Nischay Rathore


Nischay Rathore is an F1 journalist at The SportsRush with over a thousand articles under his belt. An avid Ayrton Senna admirer, Nischay embarked on his sports journalism journey despite completing graduation in Law. When not covering the high-speed thrills of the pinnacle of motorsport, he can be seen enjoying crime thrillers and 90s gangster movies with a hearty bowl of buttery popcorn.

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