Andrea Stella takes blame after missing out on victory

Andrea Stella takes blame: 'We ask too much of our drivers'

8 July at 08:50

McLaren were first and second at one point at the British Grand Prix, but ended up finishing third and fourth. Andrea Stella believes the responsibility for the mistakes lies with McLaren, and therefore not with Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri.

Oscar Piastri was not satisfied after the British Grand Prix. The Australian was in second place ahead of the first round of pit stops, right behind his teammate. However, with the track getting wet, McLaren reacted too late and Piastri drove a lap too long on slicks. Stella takes responsibility for that.

"Not only [he], but we should have pushed harder for the double stack. Because by delaying Oscar's stop by one lap, we lost much more time than the time we would have lost in a double stack pit stop. In hindsight, that was the right thing to do. Stop both cars at the same time," Stella revealed after the British GP.

McLaren balks at missed opportunities at Silverstone

But who makes the decision in situations like that? Is it more the driver's or is it more the team's decision? "We have the possibility to make the call. We have more people. So the responsibility of going on soft, rather than on medium [for Lando Norris], which would have been a better call, stands with the team. It's 100% my responsibility at the pit wall. The driver kind of gives his point of view. It should have been the pit wall to make a call."

Teams can generally make the best decision when a driver has to pit for slicks. After all, the team can see if times are fast enough for to fit those tyres. From slicks to rain, however, it is often the driver who can sense the best what is going on, as Max Verstappen insisted to his team he needed a pit stop a lap earlier. GPblog therefore asked Stella whether a driver could judge that better than the team in such a situation.

"The slick to intermediate, the driver, he knows better than us what is going on. I think even in that case, to pit with Lando, I think it was the right time, and we should have just forced Oscar and said, 'sorry, mate, it's going to be double stack'. The driver is driving, I think we are asking too much of the drivers."

"You can think they should be doing a good job driving, keeping it on track on dry tyres in wet conditions. And process the whole timing thing. That's why there's a pit wall that should help the drivers. And in this case, we have to say that we missed some opportunities." Stella concluded.