McLaren had an exemplary end to the season, finishing on the last three podiums, including two double podiums in Japan and Qatar. The British team is full of confidence to finish the year with dignity and prepare as well as possible for the 2024 season.
But while McLaren has made considerable progress on the track in recent races, the Woking-based team also shone in the pits during the Qatar Grand Prix, where the mechanics made a 1.80-second stop during Lando Norris’ 2nd pit-stop on lap 27, which is a new world record beating the 1.82 seconds recorded by Red Bull at the Brazilian Grand Prix in 2019.
McLaren makes the fastest pit stop in F1 history
A feat made all the more impressive by the fact that it was achieved in extremely hot conditions during a Grand Prix that left its mark on both minds and bodies. The mechanics were able to cope with these conditions, and there was an additional regulatory requirement that turned the race upside down by forcing the drivers to stop at least 3 times during the race, while stinting for a maximum of 18 laps.
It should be noted that since the previous record, the tyre size has also increased from 13 to 18 inches [following the 2022 technical regulations], an increase which has had an impact on the weight of the wheels.
Qatar race ‘faultless’ for McLaren
It was a faultless weekend for the Woking-based team, which won Saturday’s Sprint race with Oscar Piastri, Lando Norris finished 4th.
Capitalising on an excellent start, they managed to keep up with Max Verstappen in his dominant Red Bull, demonstrating not only speed but also remarkable consistency. The team’s strategy was flawlessly executed, with pit stops timed to perfection, allowing the drivers to capitalise on tyre management – a crucial factor on a circuit notorious for its track limit challenges.
The team scored a double podium finish in Sunday’s main race, enabling McLaren to leave Qatar with an additional 47 points in the constructors’ championship and a dangerous approach to fourth place currently held by Aston Martin (219 points to 230).
McLaren’s strong showing in Qatar will undoubtedly serve as a morale booster and reinforce the team’s status as a genuine contender in the world of Formula One for the 2024 season next year.
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For two years in a row, Formula One has suffered from poor publicity during the Austrian Grand Prix. Drivers pushing for the ultimate lap cannot stay within track limits at the final two corners and the result is the stewards this year issued well over 1000 deleted lap times during the weekend.
This is confusing for those watching qualifying and even the race and the narrative for the weekend becomes one dominated by…READ MORE ON THIS STORY