Looking to keep ahead of their Ferrari rivals in the Constructors’ Championship, McLaren are aiming to score big and keep the ball rolling at the Turkish GP.
This weekend’s Turkish GP sees McLaren return to Formula 1 racing after what the team called a disappointing weekend in Russia.
But while the weekend may not have gone to plan, with the win just out of grasp for Lando Norris, they picked up some valuable points in the Constructors’ Championship. With Daniel Ricciardo finishing fourth, and Norris eventually coming home to finish seventh.
The double points finish for McLaren increased their lead over Ferrari to 17.5 points. And as the 2021 F1 season draws towards the final stages, every point in the fight for ‘best of the rest’ matters, with big money on offer at the end of the year.
2020 saw the fight for third in the constructors’ come right down to the very end, with McLaren managing to pip Racing Point by just seven. With the final six races offering a combination of different layouts, some suited to McLaren and others to Ferrari, expect another close finish this season.
With the objective of staying ahead of the Scuderia, Ricciardo says plenty of sim work has been put in prior to the Turkish GP, as McLaren look to score as many points as possible.
“We’ve been working hard since the last race to make sure we hit the ground running,” Ricciardo said. “Given we only went back there [Turkey] last year, we don’t have a huge amount of data on how best to set the car up, so we’ve been doing work in the sim to learn a bit more and allow us to start strong on Friday.
“The fight for third in the constructors’ is really tight at the moment and we know that every point counts, so we’re doing everything we can to outscore our competitors at every weekend. We’ve had a good start to the second half of the season, so we head to Turkey looking to retain and build on that momentum as we approach the final third of the season.”
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Likewise, Norris has logged plenty of time in the sim as he looks to bounce back from what was almost his first F1 win at Russia.
The 2020 Turkish GP saw Norris finish eighth. With the improvements McLaren have made to the MCL35M and Norris’ track record of often finishing well inside the top 10, a decent point’s finish is on offer, should he be able to string it all together.
Currently sitting fourth in the Drivers’ Championship, just 12 points behind Valtteri Bottas, the 21-year-old is set to record his highest finish in the standings since entering F1 in 2019.
“I’m looking forward to getting back to the track after a disappointing end to the last grand prix,” Norris said. “Since then I’ve been spending a lot of time in the simulator, learning from the experience in Russia, and I’m ready to go again.
“The Turkish circuit is a real driver’s track and I’m glad we’re heading back there again after an exciting race last year. As always, we’ll be working hard to keep up the fight in both Championships. We know how important every race between now and the end of the season is, so we’ll be pushing hard to score as many points as possible.”