Lando Norris, McLaren, Sochi Autodrom, 2019

McLaren would have been fifth and sixth without Safety Cars – Seidl

2019 Russian Grand Prix

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McLaren team principal Andreas Seidl says the caution periods during the Russian Grand Prix cost the team the chance to beat one of the Red Bulls.

Seidl believes Carlos Sainz Jnr and Lando Norris would have finished ahead of Alexander Albon if the Safety Car period hadn’t helped the Red Bull driver to catch up.

“I think without the Safety Cars we were in good shape to do a P5 and six because I think it would have kept Albon far away. And with only [Kevin] Magnussen I think with the pit stops after we have done them, if Magnussen goes in the normal rhythm he goes back as well. So P5 and six was possible without Safety Cars and Virtual Safety Cars.

“But then after all the Safety Cars and Virtual Safety Cars. Carlos couldn’t have done more than P6 because Albon got close and Albon simply has a better, quicker car. So Carlos did well.

“On Lando’s side also with [Sergio] Perez and Magnussen they got just too close with the Safety Cars and then he couldn’t hold them behind. I think they had fresher tyres [by] some laps.”

However Seidl said he was pleased the team extended its lead over Renault in the constructors’ championship.

“It was good obviously scoring 12 points, another 11 points on Renault. It’s the first time we’ve been back above 100 points as a team since 2014.

“Great restarts from both [drivers]. And what was important for us as well, after we had some struggles in previous races, that we had two good pit stops again which was important for the team to build up the confidence again.

“So I’m very happy especially after a difficult Friday that the team here together with the drivers and together with the team back home, pulled together and analysed really in detail what they wanted to do for Saturday, made the right calls and have then a competitive car. I think we clearly had the fourth quickest car again today.”

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15 comments on “McLaren would have been fifth and sixth without Safety Cars – Seidl”

  1. This was actually a bad result for McLaren, this track has always been good for them, this was the venue of their best result with Honda.

    1. @peartree Rubbish. Look where they were on Friday (nowhere) and see where they ended up – they could hardly have done better.

      1. @tflb do you even read. Mclaren would have been 5th and 6th without sc, hence it’s a bad result, seidl said that. Alonso luckily finished 6th once on the honda, hondas best was a 5th in hungary.

        1. @peartree I do read. Obviously you can’t though, or you’re imagining things, because nowhere did Seidl say it was a bad result. In fact he seemed reasonably pleased.

          1. @tflb we’re not talking performance. The race result was bad… seidl said it would have been better without sc….

    2. I think saying it was a BAD result is a bit hyperbole @peartree. It still was a pretty good result, but it could have been better. A bad result would have been less points than Renault/DNFs etc.

      1. @bascb, he’s playing up the hyperbole because he’s probably annoyed that Sainz did well in that race, given how he’s taken such a strong dislike to Sainz (when, that is, he’s not trying to blame Ferrari’s mistakes on Grosjean).

      2. @bascb anon @tflb read @fumanchu comment, he said it all, I didn’t want to be pedantic but I guess I must, that said I admit my comment was hyperbolic.

        As seidl declared mclaren could have done better without sc, therefore it is a fact their result was worse than possible.
        IMO it was a bad result. a paralel to ferrari, leclerc finished a couple positions down what he would have been without sc, that is a bad result, so is this result for mclaren. Got lucky with mag managed to score 12 could have scored 18, as you all said better than mclaren’s competition, for ex leclerc outscored max anyway, could have been better.

    3. Yes, it could be better if VSC hadn’t show up, but overall not bad result, maybe not perfect, but much better than Renaults, Hass and so on… with no retirements and pocket full of points. Guenther Steiner is praying right now for having such a bad result in Japan.

  2. McLaren suddenly look like a team with a future again. Another couple of tenths per lap and they’ll be podium contenders at some circuits. The new Mercedes deal also looks like a step in the right direction.

    Like Williams’s two-decade disaster, McLaren’s travails show how the effects of a couple of bad decisions can cascade down the years. Unlike McLaren, however, Williams have yet to stop the rot.

  3. What a silly statement from such a high level manager. Like there are never any safety cars. I would have been president if……..

    1. Well, he probably was asked and he has to answer something, doesn’t he? Though I am glad noone got Binotto to say he’d have had a 1-2 w/o the MGU-K going on Vettel’s car (though it probably is true, it’s also not so relevant to the real world at this point, I agree in that sense with your point).

  4. It’s a team sport, but the appointment of Seidl has done wonders for McLaren, I find myself agreeing with everything he says.

  5. McLaren are turning a corner.

    In a world where P2 is the first of the loosers, they are appearing quite a good midfield winner. Slowly they are turning things around. Once they get Mercedes PU back, maybe they can fight for occasional win. I am proud of them. Turning that ship around is no easy feat after 6 years of decline.

    1. I so agree with you on everything, but bolting a different concept engine means another slow year before they mate it “properly” with the chassis. And sadly in this era of F1 no engine supplier will allow (or it will be impossible with an engine laid out for a specific car) a customer team to be on top. Ron was right on this one..

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