McLaren drop down constructors’ standings after lacklustre Mexican GP

McLaren drop down constructors’ standings after lacklustre Mexican GP

McLaren have fallen down the order in the Formula 1 Constructors’ Championship, coming away with a single point at the Mexican Grand Prix.

The Mexican Grand Prix proved to be a struggle for McLaren. Finishing with a single point, courtesy of Lando Norris, is not how the Woking-based team would have liked their weekend to go.

After a double points finish, Ferrari have now leap frogged McLaren to take third place in the Constructors’ Championship with a 13.5 point lead.

Struggling during the early practice sessions, McLaren seemed to improve during the third and final session, carrying their increased performance into qualifying. Daniel Ricciardo managed to line up in seventh, while Norris would be sent to the back of the grid in 18th after changing power units.

Holding off Ferrari in Mexico was always going to be a challenge for McLaren. However, with Ricciardo firmly entrenched in the points at the start of the race, and the expectation that Norris should be able to work his way through the field past his slower rivals, there was hope the team could limit the damage.

Unfortunately, this would not to be the case. Making an aggressive move into Turn 1 on the opening lap, Ricciardo collected the rear end of Valtteri Bottas, resulting in the front wing of his MCL35M separating from the car along with receiving other damage.

Battling Bottas for much of the race, Ricciardo managed to hold off the Mercedes driver to claim 12th.

“The first lap incident was about as painful as they get because your race is pretty much over from the start,” Ricciardo said. “I was in a tricky position because I know that if I didn’t go for it, someone else would have, and I’d probably have been swamped by other cars. At the end of the day, I think it’s just a lap one incident.

“The start was good and those first few hundred metres were looking positive. I think we were potentially in P4, and in a split-second it changes. That’s the nature of the beast, but these ones are pretty painful because you have to endure the race and hope something happens, but nothing really did.

“I was able to defend Bottas, normally when you’re doing that it’s for a good position, but we were both obviously at the back. The car was also damaged, and we had a chunk of downforce missing. A bit heart breaking. For a few seconds it looked awesome and then it looked pretty un-awesome.”

While Ricciardo may consider it a lap one incident, it proved to be the wrong call in what was an important race for the team in terms of championship points.

Electing for a new power unit, Norris was always going to have his work cut out for him starting from the back. He put in a solid performance, however, steering clear of any on track trouble and making his way through the pack.

“Obviously not the best for us as a team but a good day from my side, from 18th to 10th,” Norris said. “We knew it was going to be difficult to come through the field, but we did the best we could do today. I don’t think we could’ve achieved too much more, regarding our pace and the difficulty to overtake and follow. One point is more than nothing. We’ll keep trying to work hard and make some improvements in Brazil.”

With Ferrari now edging out with a small lead, McLaren need to ensure they up their performance level at the Brazilian Grand Prix to help limit any further advances by the Scuderia.