Lando Norris, McLaren, Spa-Francorchamps, 2020

McLaren expect Ferrari will “strike back” after Monza

2020 Belgian Grand Prix

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McLaren team principal Andreas Seidl sees the Italian Grand Prix as an opportunity to increase the team’s lead over Ferrari before their rivals “strike back” at other circuits which suit their car better.

Ferrari endured a miserable Belgian Grand Prix as the Spa-Francorchamps circuit’s high power demands exposed their car’s poor straight-line performance. Seidl suspects their rivals will struggle again this weekend at Monza, another track which places high demands on power units, while McLaren should be in the hunt for points.

“I would say with what we know from last year, plus what we’ve seen this weekend here, I think we are in a good position again to fight for quali three,” said Seidl after Sunday’s race. “Which then obviously is always a good position to be for Sunday afternoon to fight for good points.

“I expect to be close again to the Racing Points and the Renaults. And with everything we can see at the moment to take away from here, and also reading the comments from Ferrari, I think they will struggle there as well.

“So hopefully Monza gives an opportunity to score more points than we did here and give us another good opportunity to make some good points to some of our competitors which will be stronger again at other tracks.”

McLaren moved up to third in the constructors’ championship last weekend, two points ahead of Racing Point and seven ahead of Ferrari. However Seidl said the team must not discount the threat from the latter despite their poor weekend in Belgium.

“What is also important, and that’s something we never do, is underestimate the ability of Ferrari to strike back during the course of the season. With all the experience they have, the manpower, the infrastructure, I’m sure it’s only a question of time when they will strike back again as well.

“That’s why it hurts even more that we didn’t collect more points today.”

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15 comments on “McLaren expect Ferrari will “strike back” after Monza”

  1. f1 Wars: The Empire Strikes Back

  2. more like Lec and Seb striking each other at the back of the grid

  3. What I understand it was a combination of not getting tires to work in that tempature and a dog of a car they have. So I’m not sure about the future races if it is as cold as in Belgium that Ferrari will do much better. Of course only fast track after monza is bahrain outer so in that point of view Ferrari could do better in remaining races

    1. Yes, that is more or less what Seidl mentions – he thinks they have a good chance this coming weekend in Monza, but expect to see Ferrari closer to the pace again in tracks where the engine and drag is less of an issue. And maybe where it is warmer

  4. Ferrari’s current “performance”?
    Reasonably suggests that whatever FIA & Ferrari’s sealed verdict,
    was even way more serious than any of us suspected.
    1 day the real truth will “leak” out.
    Roll on that day asap!

    1. @wildbiker By the performance shown so far this yr I would say they have gone backwards in the chassis department on top of the power loss. The token system and the development freeze stops any meaningful improvements for some time. Yes maybe one day the deal between the FIA/Liberty & Ferrari and the details of PU changes will come out.

    2. Take the tinfoil hat off jackass.

  5. Slightly off topic: McLaren’s winning era engineer Hans Mezger dies. The Newey of his day, he designed Lauda’s 1984 Mac title winner.

    1. Rodber,
      That was already mentioned in RaceFans round-up of June the 14th:
      Besides Hans Mezger was a legendary engine designer (unlike Newey) and he wasn’t the one who designed the McLaren MP4/2, it was John Barnard.

      1. Thanx Tifoso. I was misled by a national newspaper article….

  6. Maybe if the other 18 cars all run out of gas. Wishful thinking.

  7. While it’s Ok to see cars good on low downforce like McLaren and Renault up there, it still highlights how tracks should not be one way or the other, but neutral with a good balance of high, mid and low downforce sections in order to reduce field spread.

    Factor in that tracks are the single biggest differentiator when it comes to overtaking, and thus how good the racing is, much more effort should be put in to select and modify tracks IMO. In fact, most of F1’s focus should be on tracks, but I rarely see it mentioned. Just a simple thing as cambering up key corners could make all the difference.

    1. Don’t agree with this at all. We need a wide variety of circuits across the course of a season. Making all circuits balanced will make them all very similar, create predictability.

      1. Reduced field spread will make things closer, larger field spread and one-trick tracks creates predictability.

        Like Monza next. We all know 100% there will be little to no overtaking and which cars will benefit from the low-downforce configuration and which will not. It will be one of the most boring racing of the year.

  8. Interesting comment from mclaren, currently a midfield team, and considering this weird season, they have to keep into account if ferrari get back to closer to standard performance they can be a threat, so they have to accumulate some advantage while they can, since ferrari’s engine sucks this year.

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