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McLaren hold hopes up: 'Red Bull are not as fast as we feared'

McLaren hold hopes up: 'Red Bull are not as fast as we feared'

3 March - 20:00

All F1 teams feared the same ahead of the first Grand Prix of the 2024 season. Will Red Bull Racing be as dominant again as it was in 2023? McLaren driver Oscar Piastri is relieved as the Red Bull is not as fast as they expected.

After the dominant 2023 season in which Red Bull won 21 out of 22 races, the Austrian racing stable's competitors faced a big challenge. Indeed, the gap with Red Bull was incredibly large in most of the races. When Max Verstappen's team presented their car for 2024, many people were surprised. Indeed, there were more notable modifications made than expected.

Oscar Piastri is relieved about Red Bull's speed

These modifications seem to have worked out well for the RB20. Indeed, Verstappen managed to win the race with a lead of more than 22 seconds. Oscar Piastri thinks this lead is not so bad. After qualifying, the Australian had said that the Red Bull did not look super good. After the race, he modestly came back from this. ''No, I think it was a bit more realistic to what we expected, to be honest. I think they look in a pretty similar place to last year, a similar kind of gap. So, not a massive surprise, to be honest. And in the races last year, they were always quicker than they were in qualifying. But maybe still not quite as far ahead as we first feared at the start of testing. But still a long way ahead.''

At the McLaren team, the workers will be satisfied. Indeed, compared to the beginning of last season, they are starting the year a lot better. Piastri is also very pleased with the speed of his car at the moment. ''I think not a bad way to start the year. Compared to last year, we'll definitely take it. So, I think the pace was more or less how I thought it would pan out. We're going to be very close with Mercedes, Ferrari's team a bit of a step ahead, Red Bull a clear step ahead. But honestly, not a bad way to start the year. We'll see what the next few circuits have in store for us. Some quicker layouts and very different tarmac. So, we'll see if that suits us better or worse, hopefully better. Not a bad way to start the year and I feel like on a personal note, it was a decent race, so I'm pretty pleased.''