Seidl “couldn’t be happier” as McLaren clinch fourth in championship

2019 F1 season

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McLaren team principal Andreas Seidl said he “couldn’t be happier” as the team clinched fourth place in the constructors’ championship with one race to go.

The team moved 49 points clear of fifth-placed Renault in Brazil with 44 points available in the season finale at Yas Marina. It’s McLaren’s best constructors’ championship result since 2012, when they came third.

“For us it’s great that we could secure [fourth] in the constructors championship today,” said Seidl after the race. “It is simply a great reward for all the hard work everyone has put into this year here at the track and especially back home in the factory.”

Carlos Sainz Jnr took a surprise third place, the team’s first top-three score since 2014, having started last on the grid. Seidl said the team took a “full risk” strategy approach by trying to get through the race with a single pit stop.

“It was not an easy race to read really today,” he said. “We had full risk with Carlos with a one-stop strategy, putting him on the mediums and an unbelievable long stint. I don’t know how many laps he did, 40-something. A great drive from him, how he how he defended at the end compared to the other cars on new tyres.”

Lando Norris let his team mate past at one stage in the race on his way to eighth place.

Carlos Sainz Jnr, McLaren, Interlagos, 2019
Sainz held up a queue of cars for third
“On Lando’s car at the end at some point we were splitting the strategies and I think for Lando there was just not enough laps any in the end to benefit from the newer tyres.

“But I’m very happy with having both cars in the points today. I think also the race pace today was better than anticipated so we actually could fight and could also overtake which is encouraging.”

“Great to see also today the pit stops which were phenomenal, especially after the hard time we had in previous races,” he added. “This also helped us to gain these positions also on track today.”

Seidl said the team will “celebrate this [fourth place]” at its base this week. “Then we try to refocus again on Abu Dhabi to have a good finish of the season. And then obviously it’s the right motivation to go into winter and making sure we make the next step as a team for next year.”

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Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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21 comments on “Seidl “couldn’t be happier” as McLaren clinch fourth in championship”

  1. Now we just need Toro Rosso to demote Renault to fifth place in the final race. ;)

    1. if so, Renault will pull the plug i fear.

      1. I just want Renault to pull the plug on Cyril Abiteboul.

        1. Why… You don’t even know the guy or work for the team.

        2. Why, I think he’s a great team boss. Under his lead they rebuild the facilities in Enstone and Viry. You just have to look at the recent history to see how hard it is to do this.

  2. It seems like there is a good chance Sainz will finish ahead of Albon and Gasly both.

    1. @Chaitanya
      What an achievement that would be !!
      Carlos finished best of the rest last year in Abu Dhabi with Renault. Hulkenberg did it for Renault in 2016.
      Am guessing there will be scrap between McLaren and Renault this year for the crucial 7th/8th place finishes. Nevertheless, i think Alex needs to finish fourth and above to clinch the sixth place in the WDC if Sainz doesnt score which i hope does not happen.

      1. @webtel Yes, 4th at worst indeed should both Sainz and Gasly not score any points in Abu Dhabi. Had he finished 2nd, then he would now be 12 points ahead of Sainz, and 13 ahead of Gasly, or nine ahead of Sainz, and ten ahead of Gasly presuming Hamilton would’ve eventually passed him for 2nd place into T1 the next time approaching it. Being 11 points behind both makes it difficult for him to re-overhaul them with only a single race left. Oh well, he’s going to finish well ahead of both in the WDC next season should he drive at RBR the entire season.

  3. I would say the quick improvement on pit stops is a good omen but perhaps too early to say definitely if they’ve gotten rid of the slapstick mistakes that’s been plaguing the team for years.

  4. F1 has posted a short video showing Sainz progress from lights out to the checker.
    It’s pretty impressive. The guy knows what he’s doing.
    Great result for him and great comeback for the team this season.

    1. I think what Liberty did to F1, media-wise is underrated. I actually like the intro, graphics package style is subjective but the tower content is better, and most importantly, F1 YouTube channel is now really good with high quality production. Keep in mind that the race director is still from FOM and the commentary is from SkyF1. Aside from AWS debacle, I think everything Liberty bring to F1 is an improvement.

      1. Keep in mind that the race director is still from FOM and the commentary is from SkyF1

        You make it sound like the Sky commentary isn’t better than 99% of the world, which it is.

  5. Imagine if Seidl had anything to do with it. Why did sainz jr get 3rd place. Ham v Albon is racing incident, surely Ham’s doing but racing incident nonetheless.

    1. Give the man some credit.

      When opportunity comes, you need to be ready in order to make use of it.

      McLaren under his leadership is doing a lot better than 2018.

      If it was last year, a crash in the top two probably brings McLaren from P7 to P5 at best.

      He seems have recovered the tram from the disastrous Eric Boullier era.

      1. Seidl has nothing to do with this. He started this year. The car was designed last year by Pat Fry. And they were lucky in getting Fry, since it was never the plan for Morris to leave. James Key also started this year, but had influence on the updates I assume.

    2. @peartree True, they were “lucky” that Bottas overheated his car, Vettel took out two Ferrari’s and that Hamilton dealt with Albon and got a penalty himself. That’s 5 places gained for free.

      I’m also not that impressed with the “Oh, Sainz finished best of the rest so he must be great” hype. Usually he drives the 4th fastest car and a best of the rest finish is pretty much what you would expect then.

      Still, Sainz came all the way from P20 to P7. That in itself is a pretty good recovery drive. The footage is fun to watch:
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c_GDGniGT3w

      Vettel should see this footage too. Especially around 1:28 Sainz shows how to stay on the racing line and not drive into the car very close on your left …

  6. Great recovery by Mclaren.

    Hopefully they’ll continue their rise and hopefully Renault might actually get spurred into action and actually do some real work on their 2020 car.

    1. McLaren policy wise didn’t change last year. They got Pat Fry because Morris left after they announced Key who he doesn’t like (something happened between them when they were both at Sauber). Pat Fry designed this fast car. Fry now works for Renault.
      Let’s wait and see what McLaren can bring next year. The windtunnel isn’t ready yet, so it’s James Key who has to work through TMG to design a car. Key did some great things at Force India. Not so much at STR though.

  7. Sainz is Alonso 2.0. Hope the top teams notice him as he is very very close to Max who is widely regarded as the current quickest driver (though crash-prone). Sainz very well could be a slightly slower but much more mature (and less arrogant) version of Max.
    Good job Carlos ‘smooth operator’ Sainz and McLaren.

  8. I’m happy for Carlos. But I think Albon should have been given third. I know it sounds ludicrous because there’s no guarantee he would have hung on for third but I believe a serious overhaul of the penalty system needs to happen. This is just too kindergarten level.

  9. Congrats to McLaren, I wish this to any of the backmarker teams. Raise from the back and get to 4th place and in a few years try to take wins of top 3.

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