McLaren’s Formula 1 Boss Reflects on Turning Point in 2023 Season

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Andrea Stella Highlights Crucial Moment in Austria that Marked McLaren’s Resurgence

McLaren Formula 1 boss, Andrea Stella, has identified a pivotal moment during the 2023 season that signaled the team’s resurgence. In an interview, Stella recalled the early laps of practice for the Austrian Grand Prix, where the impact of a significant upgrade package became evident.

Challenging Start: McLaren faced difficulties at the beginning of the 2023 season, failing to score points in the first two rounds. The team acknowledged missing development targets and underwent internal changes, including the departure of Technical Director James Key.

Transformative Upgrade: The turning point came with a substantial upgrade introduced at the ninth round of the season. The upgraded MCL60 car elevated McLaren into contention at the front of the grid.

Austrian Grand Prix Moment: Andrea Stella highlighted the early laps of practice in Austria as a standout moment. During Free Practice 1, telemetry data showed the performance gap between Lando Norris, equipped with the new car, and Oscar Piastri, running the previous-spec parts. Stella noted that Norris, with the new car, demonstrated the ability to carry significantly more speed through corners.

Positive Signs Confirmed: The positive impressions from the early laps were confirmed by lap times and subsequent race results. Lando Norris recorded a fourth-place finish at the Red Bull Ring, and at Silverstone, both McLaren cars secured second and third on the grid.

Silverstone Success: At Silverstone, Norris led the opening laps, securing a second-place finish. Oscar Piastri narrowly missed a podium due to the timing of a Safety Car. These results provided confirmation to the team that they were on a strong and positive trajectory.

Late-Season Achievements: The resurgence continued, with Piastri achieving successive podiums in Japan and Qatar, including a breakthrough victory in the Saturday Sprint race at the Losail Circuit. Norris contributed to McLaren’s late-season charge, achieving a career-best tally of seven top-three race finishes.

Constructors’ Standings: McLaren’s late-season success propelled them to a fourth-place finish in the Constructors’ standings.

Andrea Stella emphasized the significance of the moment in Austria, where the visual cues from telemetry data aligned with the team’s expectations, marking a key milestone in McLaren’s competitive turnaround during the 2023 season.