McLaren bringing more updates this weekend in push for third in championship

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In the round-up: McLaren team principal Andreas Seidl says McLaren will introduce further updates to its car at this weekend’s Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix.

What they say

McLaren are currently fourth in the constructors’ title in a narrow fight with Racing Point and Renault, the trio covered by only six points. Seidl said he is confident the team will be in a position to continue to fight for third, after testing new parts during the Friday practice sessions at the Autodromo do Algarve:

Overall I was quite happy with how the weekend went after the Nurburgring. I think we started with a solid car configuration with the new nose box aero concept on Friday. We tested some more updates during Friday, which we plan to introduce from Imola onwards after seeing the positive results.

Then for the rest of the weekend, I think we had a competitive car, which was good. [It] was another confirmation that we have a car to fight for third in the championship. In the end, it will be down to reliability, to maximising the races and making sure you see the chequered flag with both cars. This will decide who will finish third.

Quotes: Dieter Rencken

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Comment of the day

Ben Needham says the physical and emotional cost of F1’s calendar to staff should be considered, after two triple-headers are included in next year’s draft calendar:

Don’t underestimate the toll it takes on lives. My brother is a mechanic and has found this year (since the season started) to be hard work. he’s enjoyed it, but the triple headers in particular make for a lot of time away from home. Yes, he’s getting to travel the world when most of us are stuck at home. Yes, he’s working in a sport most of us would love to be a part of. Yes, he’s in a fairly nicely paid job when some people are becoming unemployed.

It’s easy to forget though that he’s spent a huge proportion of his time away from his family, his friends, his home comforts. His sleeping is all over the place as he works such long hours. His down time is usually when everyone else is at work. It can play havoc with relationships, health (both mental and physical) and a great many other things.

They’re all his choices of course and he loves it, but it’s easy to look and only see the good bits about working in F1.
Ben Needham

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Author information

Hazel Southwell
Hazel is a freelance journalist who roams the paddocks of Formula E, covering the technical and emotional elements of electric racing. Usually found at...

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  • 39 comments on “McLaren bringing more updates this weekend in push for third in championship”

    1. NASCAR started their current Cup race on Sunday afternoon and managed to get 52 laps in before mist and rain brought out the red flag. Unlike F1, the race needs to get to halfway before they can make it official so in this case Lap 167. After two full days of persistent cycles of mist, rain jet dryers and air titans, lap 53 has yet to be completed. NASCAR will try again tomorrow started at 3 pm EST.

      You may commence laughing in 3, 2, 1…

      1. *laughs in wet tyres*

    2. Pretty excited for Extreme E, hope they can pull it off. Bring on the jumps!

    3. Regarding COTD – I don’t subscribe to the notion that these condensed calendars are not fair on the staff of race teams. The are a multitude of jobs in the world that take people away from their families for long periods of time. The difference with F1 is it is the persons dream job, with great pay, traveling the world, doing what they love.

      I bet if you asked anyone that followed F1 if they would like to work for a team, they would jump at the opportunity. Not every job can be perfect, but working for an F1 team comes damn close. An as it was stated in the COTD, if they don’t like it, they don’t have to work there. I don’t think it would be hard for the teams to find replaments.

      1. RE: COTD in response – I suspect you’ll see a lot fewer applications and lower quality in this kind of schedule. There’s not enough people that into F1 that they want to be a right rear tire changer at the cost of constant travel. Pre COVID I spent half the year on the road and it was f’n miserable. Can’t wait to not ever go back.
        It’s a sucker’s game. If you want to hire rookies year over year, go for it, but most people won’t last with that pace.

      2. Yeh but employers still have a responsibility to look after the well-being of their staff, irrespective of industry. A crammed calendar makes that task that much harder.

      3. @macca – to some extent I agree. Several, far less enjoyable jobs, feature the same long hours and distances.

        Imagine if you had signed up to do 18 race seasons only a few years ago and see the calendar gradually creeping up and up. Your idea that working for an F1 team is close to perfect in terms of jobs is very much how I felt, but it quickly proved to not be the case. I also worked in F1, doing PR for a number of drivers (David Coulthard post-F1, Paul di Resta while at Force India) and events (Autosport International, Lamborghini Super Trofeo, WTCC). It was my dream job having loved F1 for my entire life. Frankly, I hated it almost immediately and left the job within six months. It’s not for everybody. The environment can be hard, draining and often cliquey. I’m not bitter, I’m glad I did it, but I quickly realised that I preferred F1 as my release after a hard working week, not as my hard working week…

        These mechanics, engineers, press officers, journalists etc. all train for years with one goal and are highly skilled. You cannot simply take one out and plug another in as you suggest.

        1. @ben-n Just in case, do you mean that you were alongside Di Resta in his pen interviews with a recorder during 2011, ’12, and ’13 seasons?

          1. @jerejj – no, my role was to pull together packets for potential sponsors at the start of 2011. Talk drivers up, explain why they’re the next big thing, how di Resta beat Vettel to the 2006 Formula 3 Euro Series so “therefore is better than a Formula One World Champion”… the usual PR spiel!

      4. I worked with a guy who did a spell in electronics at Toyota F1. He wasn’t very enthusiastic about the experience. Didn’t get to travel the world, didn’t have a life back at home because they owned his time 24/7 and wasn’t particularly well paid. I used to do club level motorsport and all the work leading up to an event was exhausting and felt wasted if the result was poor.

        He was happy to leave Toyota and like me, found the simple pleasures of riding a bicycle far more rewarding. In that vein, and I know this is a motorsport forum, but serious congratulations to Tao Geoghegan Hart for a superb never-say-die win in the Giro, with special mention for Jai Hindley in second place. They are the kind of surprises that makes us believe sport can be a reasonably level playing field.

      5. Employees at F1 race team level or not simply “drop in” members of staff. They are also not paid much more (and in some cases they are paid slightly less) than they could get outside of F1. There seems to be this notion that life on an f1 race team is all champagne and blowjobs, it isnt. – Probably why if you asked anyone who followed F1 if they wanted to work in it they would say yes. They have a skewed perspective. (This is from personal experience at a team.)

    4. Re COTD I agree, I once work in a position that required me to be away for approximately 20-25 days a month including over Christmas. Yes the money was good but I missed out on a lot of time with my children also I was a single parent so it put strain on my mother who looked after them while I was away.
      The people who make these decisions are rarely if ever in the situation where they have had to do it themselves. Hence the lack of empathy or understanding of the difficulties involved.

      1. I hear you…
        I work on power plants and have to travel around 8 to 9 months of the year (not continuously) or more and be sleeping at hotels away from home and the family. It is hard specially with relationships and if you have kids, and the fact that you miss out a lot on special dates and celebrations.
        Remember that jobs are a responsibility to make money and support your loves ones, so not everything is party and happiness all the time.
        To have empathy over this, you would had to have experienced it yourself.

    5. I’m torn in regard to McLaren improving at the moment. On one hand I want Ricciardo to do well in the Renault so he can leave on a high and give Renault what he promised the best possible effort on his part. On the other hand I want McLaren to continue on their upward projectory to give Ricciardo the best possible start for 2021.
      Selfish I know :)

      1. @johnrkh hahaha I’ve been thinking exactly the same thing!

      2. I honestly think the McLaren is a better car and it is Danny Ric that is making up the difference for Renault.

        1. I agree with you there @macca

    6. There’s something about Nico Rosberg and logos. The RXR for his new team, and the Nico symbol on his helmet ending with the infinity symbol are quite creative!

    7. “This is a kid from a very deprived background, who is black, and has made it in what is a rich person’s sport – an incredible achievement.”

      How insulting to Anthony Hamilton!

      He was an IT manager then had his own IT business. It funded his son’s motor racing.

      As middle class as it gets.

      1. To rich people even those making 6 figures a year are deprived…

      2. Quite a few Olympians and the tennis player; whatever his name is. Someone posed the question; what British sportsman has been the most successful of all time in there chosen sport worldwide?

        1. Err wrong place, sorry.

        2. Phil the Power Taylor. 16 time World Champion. Now some may scoff at me mentioning a dart player, but it is as much of a sport as F1.

          1. Didn’t think of Phil. Although wasn’t his ‘award’ quietly shelved after he was charged with assault? The only other two I can think of are Redgrave and Hoy; although I’m not sure if its only the Brits who consider them the best ever.

      3. A bit inaccurate but does it matter? I’d appreciate if Lewis accepted the honour, he’d be a bit quieter, hopefuly. Ham is a bit inconsistent off track.

      4. Bondo, owning a company that fixes computers is not middle class. Hate to break this to you. Keep going though.

    8. Weird to see someone coming from a country that uses metrics mentioning a distance in miles instead of km.

    9. Has a driver… Or any sportsman been knighted while they are still competing?

      I thought it was generally given to people after they have done what they have done.

      1. Olympians and Murray of the top of my head. Someone put it this way. What Brits have become the most successful of all time in their chosen sport.

        1. Maybe Her Majesty thinks his championship tally is inflated due to a car advantage never seen before in F1.

          1. That’s not the way the award system works. You seem as clueless about that as you are about F1 and the class system.

          2. Bondo with his usual rubbish.

        2. I think it’s because of specific moments/achievements rather than a body of work – winning Wimbledon and the Olympics great sporting moments that people remember. Mo Farrah winning the his medals at the UK Olympics and Murray winning Wimbledon are good examples of that.

          Hamilton is a victim of his own domination – there aren’t any moments that stand out in the last few years. He just easily dominates because no other car can get close to the Mercedes and he’s much faster than Bottas. When people talk of exciting moments in F1, it’s always battles – Senna vs Prost, Schumacher vs Hill etc… When I think about Hamilton’s career and “iconic moments” that people will be talking about in 20 years, Brazil 2008 comes to mind as does his battle with Rosberg in Bahrain. Then I start to struggle a little… Certainly in the last 5 years, I’ve got nothing that springs to mind as an iconic F1 moment I’d tell my grandkids about.

          I think overall, Hamilton’s body of work is what he’ll be remembered for and that means he’ll be honoured once he retires rather than now.

          1. Its quite a complex system, but heavily political. The one off achievement awards are really nothing but the governments desire to gain political benefit. The most crass one being Harold Wilson awarding MBEs to the Beatles.
            The more traditional ones are not in the first instance to do with personal achievement; which is why in relation to the likes of Redgrave, Hoy, Head, etc. its for ‘services to motorsport’, and so on. So if Ham gets one; probably once he retires, it will be for services to motorsport. But overriding this will be the governments assessment on whether it will benefit them politically.

    10. After ditching Honda and having a new team boss, McLaren is a great team right now.

    11. I wonder what it will mean for the F1 teams that Mercedes takes a 20% stake in Aston Martin and giving it access to Mercedes technology. With Aston Martin owner Stroll also owning the F1 team, AMG boss Moers the new CEO of Aston Martin, and Wolff a shareholder in both the Mercedes and Aston Martin team, something surely has to come out of this. Combined with Daimler cuts, is it conceivable that the current Mercedes team will end up as Aston Martin AMG before long?

    12. Happy birthday Bernie!

    13. Get rid of Norris, lucky at times but usually useless at best.
      I “worry” for his fans as there’s a mean machine on the way to McLaren.
      😀😀😀😀😀

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