McLaren missed “great opportunity” to close on Alpine in Brazil – Seidl

2022 Brazilian Grand Prix

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McLaren team principal Andreas Seidl admitted last weekend’s Brazilian Grand Prix was a “big disappointment” for his team which left them on the back foot in the fight for fourth in the constructors’ championship.

An opening lap crash for Daniel Ricciardo and a “power failure” on Lando Norris’ car meant neither driver finished the race. Alpine brought both their cars home in the top 10 and extended their gap over McLaren from two points after Saturday’s sprint race to 19, with one round left.

“Obviously what happened today to us is a big disappointment because we had a great opportunity today,” Seidl told media including RaceFans on Sunday. “But in the end, we have to acknowledge that as a team we didn’t manage to pull it off today.”

Seidl said the team were “struggling with general performance” in Brazil, but acknowledged the drivers also needed “to see the chequered flag.” While Ricciardo went out in a collision with Kevin Magnussen, Norris was penalised for a tangle with Charles Leclerc.

Race start, Interlagos, 2022
Poll: Rate the race: 2022 Brazilian Grand Prix
“Two incidents on-track that were not really necessary and at the same time our main competitor for P4 in the championship, Alpine, scored big. That puts us in a position where we’re 19 points behind for Abu Dhabi, which obviously makes it difficult to stay in the fight for P4.

“But at the same time we’re competitive, we’re sports guys, and as long as it is very clearly possible we will simply focus on ourselves, make sure we put it all once more [to do our best] in Abu Dhabi. Then in the end whatever the outcome is we have to accept it.”

He expects the final result will be a “fair reflection” of McLaren’s season. The team took third in the 2020 constructors’ championship, slipped to fourth last year and is likely to finish this season in fifth place. McLaren last ended a season in that position in 2014, before the fateful switch to Honda engines for three years which sent the team tumbling down F1’s competitive order.

The minimum that McLaren needs to do to beat Alpine, should their rival not score this weekend, is finish fifth and sixth with their two drivers at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix and also take the race’s fastest lap. They have only got both cars into the top six twice so far this year.

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Author information

Ida Wood
Often found in junior single-seater paddocks around Europe doing journalism and television commentary, or dabbling in teaching Photography back in the UK. Currently based...
Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...

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5 comments on “McLaren missed “great opportunity” to close on Alpine in Brazil – Seidl”

  1. Hm, well, not sure I agree with Seidel there. Sure, maybe Daniel would have been in a decent position to get a point or 2 and Lando might have been able to hold onto p. 7-8 or something like that had they continued, their pace did not really look like they would have been really able to do so, and if Ricciardo hadn’t punted out Magnussen, he too would have been in that group fighting hard for the lower points available.

    I think both Alpines would still have been clearly quicker and scored solidly. The reality is that McLaren did not quite get the car right this year. And their brake issues meant that they started with another setback. Despite that, they have been ahead of Alpine in the standings. I don’t think they can overturn that.

    1. Agree, they would’ve been in with a better chance at the final race, now we can basically bet a big sum that alpine will finish ahead in the standings, I would’ve been in doubt if mclaren had finished with both cars in the points, but they wouldn’t have been able to recover points no matter what this race.

  2. Indeed, which all but guarantees P5 unless something extraordinary happens in the last race.

  3. Mclaren have been a big disappointment this year period.

    I doubt that their driver change next year will prove to be all that much better – they seem to be just not quite up to the mark in terms of developing a competitive car.

  4. The car stinks, and they will keep going backwards next year. Piastri should have stayed at Alpine. How Zak Brown is still in charge is bewildering.

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