Subscribe

Sign up for free

  • Get quick access to your favorite articles

  • Manage alerts on breaking news and favorite drivers

  • Make your voice heard with article commenting.

Autosport Plus

Discover premium content
Subscribe
Formula 1 Miami GP

Stella: McLaren can catch Red Bull in next 12 months if it maintains F1 gains

Andrea Stella believes McLaren can catch Formula 1 championship leaders Red Bull if it can replicate last year's development trajectory over the next 12 months.

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB20, Lando Norris, McLaren MCL38

McLaren has enjoyed something of a renaissance under Stella's leadership following a difficult start to the 2023 season, scoring just 14 points in the opening five rounds. Heavy revisions to last year's MCL60 chassis, which came to life during the Austrian GP weekend, ensured that the team returned to challenging for poles and podium finishes.

This rate of development continued and, building on that for 2024, McLaren has consolidated its position in the upper half of the field - and has scored 96 points in the same frame of reference, 82 more than last year.

Stella explained that the focus was on maintaining that rate of development and, if it does so, he believes the Woking squad can realistically battle against Red Bull for honours in 2025.

"I think overall, if we take the 12-month period, we have developed more than anybody else. I think Red Bull did not develop very much last year. Clearly, they were working quite a lot in the background because they innovated the car dramatically," Stella reflected.

"To innovate the car like they did - it takes months of redesign. They were doing all this work, and then when they came with a new car, it was a big step.

"So even if we lost some ground, I think we lost some ground because we gained so much ground before and while they were not developing.

"That's why I think we need to look at things over the long period. Over the long period, we are in a strong trajectory. For me, this is also what we say internally: if we keep this trajectory of development for the next 12 months, then why not? We may reach Red Bull."

Photo by: Andy Hone / Motorsport Images

McLaren will introduce a series of updates at this weekend's Miami Grand Prix, although Stella concedes that they will not be as wide-ranging as some of the packages introduced last season.

Regardless, he believes that these will present a "decent step" per the team's current simulation, assuming the team's current correlation with the real world remains strong.

"We're going to have some upgrades in Miami, let's see how they perform. Then, like for everyone, there's a lot of people at the factory that are all focused on generating developments and it's always a battle of development.

Read Also:

"That's the real job in Formula 1, just constantly improve cars. That's what we have to do.

"This upgrade will not be as big as the two that we had delivered last year in Austria and Singapore. But it should be a decent step, it should be noticeable. If things correlate with our expectation, with the wind tunnel numbers, for instance, and with the computer simulation.

"It's always a big if. Because even if the hit rate of this correlation has been good over the last 12 months, there's always possible surprises."

Be part of the Autosport community

Join the conversation
Previous article US Congressman asks if F1’s Andretti block is a “money grab”
Next article How the wider motorsport world reacted to Senna’s death

Top Comments

There are no comments at the moment. Would you like to write one?

Sign up for free

  • Get quick access to your favorite articles

  • Manage alerts on breaking news and favorite drivers

  • Make your voice heard with article commenting.

Autosport Plus

Discover premium content
Subscribe