Why McLaren see their 'near misses as good news'

F1 News

Stella compares McLaren to a building site
9 July at 19:00
  • Sophia Crothall

It was another close win for Lando Norris on Sunday, after he finished third on the podium at his home Grand Prix. Although the Brit could have potentially won, the team's decisions were costly. Norris was critical of himself after the race, but team boss Andrea Stella told GPblog and others in the paddock why they must look at the positives, comparing the team to a building site. 

Since his maiden win in Miami, Norris has failed to finish first on the podium again, but he has been close. In Imola, Montreal, and Barcelona, he finished second. On Sunday, he led his home Grand Prix at one point, and eventually looked set to finish second again before he was overtaken by Max Verstappen. With a series of near misses, the Brit has been critical of himself and his performance. His teammate Oscar Piastri has also been performing well, finishing second in both Monaco and Austria. He was also close to the podium at the British Grand Prix

In the paddock, Stella was asked how he manages this 'emotional' situation for both his drivers, and the team. "First of all, the near misses are a good news. We didn't have these kinds of near misses until 12 months ago and, we need to look at the positives," he said. Last season, McLaren started off poorly, before making significant improvements in the latter half of the season. Unlike last year, the team has performed well, and sits just seven points behind Ferrari in the Constructors. In the Drivers' standings, Norris sits second for the first time in his F1 career. 

Does McLaren sense an opportunity?

As Stella said, he does not see these near misses negatively, given the team are now in a very different position to before. The McLaren team boss even compared the team to a building site, as they continue to develop. "If we don't start from the positives from the building side, we are going to be the ones that build and destroy, build and destroy and we'll stay always at the same level so this is the responsibility for everyone. We all, the drivers included, have the responsibility to keep building. When you have days in which you have a missed opportunity, it's the best opportunity to keep building."

McLaren sit third in the standings behind Red Bull Racing and Ferrari. Mercedes are also not far behind. Unlike McLaren though, Red Bull and Mercedes have won championships more recently. "We are racing against teams that have won championships and they are pretty stable in terms of the people that are there. They are even familiar with this kind of racing at the top in changeable conditions. From this point of view, we are, I think, more of an under-construction site. We take these near misses. The frustration will go very rapidly, but the opportunity will come soon. So we need to be ready," he concluded.