F1 Constructors’ Championship: McLaren retake third place from Ferrari

F1 Constructors’ Championship: McLaren retake third place from Ferrari

A double point’s finish at the French GP has seen McLaren leapfrog Ferrari in the F1 Constructors’ Championship.

After trailing Ferrari in the F1 Constructors’ Championship heading into the French GP, a brilliant double point’s finish by McLaren has seen the team retake third place.

Strong races by Ferrari at Monaco and Azerbaijan resulted in the Scuderia netting a healthy haul of points. Which in turn led to the Italian-based team passing McLaren in the standings. A resurgent Ferrari have made clear progress with their 2021 car, after a dismal 2020 season saw them finish sixth.

However, while Ferrari have made a significant improvement, they are still lacking in straight-line speed. With the car also struggling around circuits with higher speed corners. As predicted, this led to the McLaren MCL35M outperforming Ferrari on track at the French GP. With Lando Norris securing another solid fifth place. While Daniel Ricciardo looked the most competitive he has since switching to McLaren, coming home in sixth.

“Definitely a positive Sunday. I think it was the race we were hoping for but not the one we expected,” Ricciardo said. “I don’t think we expected our closest competitor to score no points, and for us to be the best of the midfield with both cars. That was our dream race and we managed to pull it off.

“I’m really happy with the race, although if I’m honest, I wasn’t totally happy with the car. I was struggling from the laps to grid and then for the whole race. But it felt like everyone else, besides Lando, was struggling more. It was a fun race and I’m happy we brought it home in fifth and sixth for the team today. It’s about time we got back in these positions, so it was a positive day.”

With McLaren recording one of their best team finishes of the year, the opposite could be said for their Ferrari competitors. After healthy practice and qualifying sessions, the best drivers Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc could manage on race day was 11th and 16th respectively.

“This was another strong Sunday afternoon for our team, thanks to two strong drivers, a strong car in race trim and perfect race execution from the entire team,” McLaren Team Principal Andreas Seidl said. “Our battle in the Constructors’ Championship is very tight and finishing P5, P6 gives us very important points as that fight progresses.”

While McLaren may continue to outperform Ferrari on faster tracks, the battle for third place in the F1 Constructors’ Championship is far from over. With a great mixture of tracks on the calendar still to come, it is likely this will be the first of many lead switches for ‘best of the rest’ throughout the season.

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