Emilia Romagna GP: McLaren need to build on strong start to F1 season

Emilia Romagna GP: McLaren need to build on strong start to F1 season

McLaren will need to capitalise on their strong start to the 2021 Formula 1 season, with Round 2 kicking off at the Emilia Romagna GP, Imola.

The 2021 Emilia Romagna GP sees Formula 1 return to Imola for the second consecutive year. After Covid-19 threw last year’s race calendar into chaos, the historic track at Imola returned as a substitute race.

One of F1’s old school tracks, it was nice to see modern era cars fly around the track. Providing race fans the opportunity to reminisce about days gone by and their memories connected to the track.

McLaren will look to replicate their double point’s finish of last year and continue to build on their solid start to the 2021 season. Currently sitting third in the Constructors’ Championship behind Mercedes and Red Bull, the team will need to take advantage of any and all overtaking opportunities in order to keep their midfield competitors at bay.

Imola is one of the narrower circuits on the schedule with limited possibilities for overtaking. And while this can be frustrating at times for drivers, it should provide the prospect for some close racing and unexpected podiums. As was the case last year with Daniel Ricciardo’s third place for Renault.

“Imola’s up next and we’re going to give it plenty,” Ricciardo said. “It’s an iconic old-school track with a fast and flowing layout that provides little room for error. I’m really excited to be heading back there after last year’s race where I finished on the podium. I’m definitely planning on bringing that experience from last year to help the team this weekend and fight for those points.”

McLaren need to optimise on-track performance

The McLaren MCL35M appears to be somewhat up an upgrade from last year’s MCL35. With strong performances during F1 testing, and again during race one in Bahrain. But while the car is yet to suffer any major complications, there are still small things the team continues to work on and develop. Including what will be a new setup for this weekend.

“We head to Imola this week after making a strong start to the season in the opening race, but it’s crucial we stay focused and consolidate it,” McLaren Team Principal Andreas Seidl said. “The team and our Mercedes colleagues are working hard as always to optimise our package and give us the best chance to fight for good points this weekend. At the same time, we continue to concentrate on our reliability and operational effectiveness to deliver to our full potential.

“We’re looking forward to racing at Imola for a second consecutive season, this time with three full days of running that will allow us to optimise the setup. Imola poses a fresh challenge from the previous race, with different cornering profiles and a narrower track layout.

“There are fewer overtaking possibilities than at Bahrain, which increases the importance of track position and our performance on Saturday. On Sunday we’ll need to be ready for an exciting race which will pose a number of opportunities and challenges, just as we saw last year.”

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