The McLaren team has set out its ambitions for the end of the season, with the aim of finishing ahead of Aston Martin in the Constructors’ World Championship, having made considerable progress since the start of the year.
McLaren is undoubtedly the team on the grid that has made the most progress in 2023, particularly since the introduction of the first major update to the MCL60 in Austria, whose competitiveness has increased with each race, allowing McLaren to close the gap on Alpine in the Constructors’ Championship and overtake the Enstone team.
After the Japanese Grand Prix, where both McLaren drivers finished on the podium, the Woking-based team are fifth in the World Championship, with a comfortable lead over Alpine (88 points) and closing in on Aston Martin, who are just 49 points behind.
After Alpine, McLaren takes on Aston Martin
McLaren’s target is to finish fourth in the championship, and McLaren CEO Zak Brown believes it is “entirely feasible”.
“It’s absolutely doable. All we have to do is be as competitive as possible every weekend,” Zak Brown told Sky Sports.
“We have to chase Fernando [Alonso], which is never easy. You can never rule him out. We need to have a couple of big races where we score points like we did last weekend and maybe Aston Martin will be out of the race.
“It’s mathematically possible. We have to keep attacking and that’s all we can do. The team has been doing a fantastic job week after week. We’re trying to catch Red Bull […]”.
“I’m as confident as I can be,” added the American.
“I think we’re going to be pretty strong everywhere [in the final races of the season], but we know there are going to be some tracks that favour your car more than others. We’re strong at high speed, which will be the case in Qatar, so I think we’ll be strong there…”
Norris he can beat Aston Martin
McLaren driver Lando Norris believes his team can beat Aston Martin in the Constructors’ Championship this season after the Woking outfit’s recent progress.
When Lando Norris was asked if he thought it was possible for McLaren to achieve that goal, the British driver replied: “Yeah, I didn’t think we were that close. But yeah, if it’s 49 [points], I definitely think so.
“There aren’t many races left and I’m sure there will be a few where Aston Martin will be a little bit stronger.”
Norris: “We have the advantage”
Despite trailing Aston Martin by 49 points, Lando Norris believes McLaren have a significant advantage over other teams this season, with both drivers capable of scoring points, as they did at Suzuka with a double podium, while on the Aston Martin side, Lance Stroll has not scored a point since the Belgian Grand Prix, where he finished ninth.
“I think our advantage over almost every team on the grid at the moment, with the exception of a few, is that we have two drivers fighting for those top positions and fighting for points,” added Lando Norris.
“Not all the teams have that at the moment. So I think it helps us. We can help each other and I think that’s a good advantage we have over a lot of other teams at the moment. So we’re on an upward trajectory,”
Going into the Qatar Grand Prix, McLaren lies fifth in the Constructors’ Championship with 172 points so far, 49 points behind Aston Martin and 88 ahead of Alpine.
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