McLaren team principal Andreas Seidl says the team faces a tougher fight to hold onto the third place they scored in the championship last year.
Seidl expects their rival, now called Aston Martin, will be one of four other contenders for third place in the points behind Mercedes and Red Bull.
“I think we will see a close fight again between us, Aston Martin, Alpine, Ferrari for sure as well will be in the fight [and] AlphaTauri looks very strong as well,” said Seidl.
McLaren set the seventh-quickest time in pre-season testing as the team prioritised proving the successful installation of its new Mercedes power unit. Seidl said the true competitive picture will become clear at the season-opening race next week.
“With everything we could see so far, we need to wait until the first race weekend. I think everything is very close together again. That’s about where we’ll be.
“It was great for us to finish third last year. But at the same time, we haven’t forgotten about the last race where we could also have easily ended up in fifth and that’s where we see us in that battle.”
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2021 F1 season
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