McLaren vows to improve risk-reward judgement after Russia loss

McLaren Formula 1 chief Andreas Seidl says the team’s pitwall will learn from its misjudgement over the risk and reward of keeping Lando Norris out on intermediates in Sochi.

McLaren vows to improve risk-reward judgement after Russia loss

After scoring his maiden F1 pole in qualifying for the Russian Grand Prix two weeks ago, Norris looked bound for his first win after controlling proceedings in the race until rain hit in the closing stages.

Mercedes brought Lewis Hamilton in to make the switch to intermediates as conditions worsened, but McLaren failed to bring Norris in after he requested to remain out on slick tyres.

The move ultimately backfired as the rain grew harder, causing Norris to slide off-track at one point before easing his car back to the pits. He dropped to seventh in the final classification while Hamilton won the race.

McLaren said after Russia that it would delve into what happened and why it did not overrule Norris and insist that he came in to the pits to make the change.

Speaking in Turkey, team principal Andreas Seidl explained that the risk-reward balance had already tipped unfavourably for the race win when the team opted not to bring Norris in one lap after Hamilton, and that doing so would have saved second place.

“What we didn’t get right as a team was that we should have instructed Lando to box the lap after Lewis,” Seidl said.

“Because at this point of time, with the information we had available, especially with seeing that the rain started again in the pit lane, the risk-reward ratio was not on the healthy side any more.

“That’s where we should have simply instructed Lando to box and lock in P2.

“I think everything else beforehand made sense, what we did, with the clear bias that obviously we wanted to win the race. That was pretty much 50/50, so that is the outcome of the analysis.”

Lando Norris, McLaren

Lando Norris, McLaren

Photo by: Jerry Andre / Motorsport Images

Norris was left downbeat in the immediate aftermath of the race after coming so close to a maiden victory, but made clear he would come back stronger from the defeat.

Seidl was heartened by the honest approach McLaren took to analysing where it went wrong in Russia, saying it could still take plenty of positives from the performance.

“What I liked was the approach of the team from Monday onwards,” Seidl said.

“After the initial disappointment has passed us, we did the same analysis as always, going into every single detail of what happened at the weekend, where we had a lot of positives as well, and simply tried to work out together with the drivers what we could have done better.

“For sure there have been things also in these last laps of the race, in terms of communication for example between the pit wall and Lando, and the other way around, where we can improve things.

“In the end, it will simply make us a better team moving forward from everything we learned in the last two weeks.”

shares
comments

Related video

Mercedes: Overtaking in Turkey ‘tougher than we would like’
Previous article

Mercedes: Overtaking in Turkey ‘tougher than we would like’

Next article

Turkish GP: Gasly leads damp FP3 as Russell spin causes red flag

Turkish GP: Gasly leads damp FP3 as Russell spin causes red flag
Load comments
The line Verstappen finally crossed in F1's first Jeddah race Prime

The line Verstappen finally crossed in F1's first Jeddah race

OPINION: Max Verstappen has made the 2021 Formula 1 championship. He’s taken the fight to the all-conquering Mercedes squad and its dominant champion, produced driving displays few can match. But he’s been on a controversial course too, and finally crossed a particular line in Jeddah

Saudi Arabian Grand Prix Driver Ratings Prime

Saudi Arabian Grand Prix Driver Ratings

An ill-tempered Saudi Grand Prix made Formula 1 more soap opera than sporting spectacle at times, but there were some strong performances up and down the field on the world championship's first visit to Jeddah

Formula 1
Dec 6, 2021
How the Jeddah F1 race became a one-sitting Netflix drama series Prime

How the Jeddah F1 race became a one-sitting Netflix drama series

The inaugural Saudi Arabian Grand Prix was a race packed full of incident as Formula 1 2021's title contenders repeatedly clashed on track. Lewis Hamilton won out over Max Verstappen to level the scores heading into next weekend's Abu Dhabi finale, as Jeddah turned F1 into a drama series

Formula 1
Dec 6, 2021
The impressive attitude that earned Albon his second F1 chance Prime

The impressive attitude that earned Albon his second F1 chance

Dropped by Red Bull last season, Alexander Albon has fought back into a Formula 1 seat with Williams. ALEX KALINAUCKAS explains what Albon has done to earn the place soon to be vacated by the highly rated George Russell

Formula 1
Dec 5, 2021
The factors that could negate Red Bull's practice gap to Mercedes Prime

The factors that could negate Red Bull's practice gap to Mercedes

Mercedes led the way in practice for Formula 1’s first race in Jeddah, where Red Bull was off the pace on both single-lap and long runs. But, if Max Verstappen can reverse the results on Saturday, factors familiar in motorsport’s main electric single-seater category could be decisive in another close battle with Lewis Hamilton...

Formula 1
Dec 4, 2021
Why Norris doesn’t expect Mr Nice Guy praise for much longer Prime

Why Norris doesn’t expect Mr Nice Guy praise for much longer

Earning praise from rivals has been a welcome sign that Lando Norris is becoming established among Formula 1's elite. But the McLaren driver is confident that his team's upward curve can put him in the mix to contend for titles in the future, when he's hoping the compliments will be replaced by being deemed an equal adversary

Formula 1
Dec 2, 2021
What Ferrari still needs to improve to return to F1 title contention Prime

What Ferrari still needs to improve to return to F1 title contention

After a disastrous 2020 in which it slumped to sixth in the F1 constructors' standings, Ferrari has rebounded strongly and is on course to finish third - despite regulations that forced it to carryover much of its forgettable SF1000 machine. Yet while it can be pleased with its improvement, there are still steps it must make if 2022 is to yield a return to winning ways

Formula 1
Dec 2, 2021
How F1 teams and personnel react in pressurised situations Prime

How F1 teams and personnel react in pressurised situations

OPINION: The pressure is firmly on Red Bull and Mercedes as Formula 1 2021 embarks on its final double-header. How the respective teams deal with that will be a crucial factor in deciding the outcome of the drivers' and constructors' championships, as Motorsport.com's technical consultant and ex-McLaren F1 engineer Tim Wright explains.

Formula 1
Dec 1, 2021